Beautiful course. Harris had a need for speed, and it showed. I really liked burning down the hill into the sweeping right turn - genius!
My race was really fun and hard, much better than I'd expect given that I probably finished last in the A race. Here's how it unfolded:
Harris and I started in the back of the pack. No big deal, we were sleeping when folks were rushing to the line. When the gun went off (Brad said 5...4...3...2...1...go!) we all started forward. Suddenly I see a big opening straight ahead so I jumped up. Right when I got there, the two guys on either side got squeezed back towards me - major bumping!!! At first it felt like I had hooked my bars with the guy on my right, so my front wheel was getting pulled away and I couldn't control it! Scary, but pretty quickly we were all rolling along with no damage. Then I hear Paul and Bill's voices - yeah I almost crashed out Paul and Bill! Since it was those guys, I can't even complain about some noob and their back bike handling skills... (In fact, I'm sure it's they they both have "mad skilz" that we all just bumped and then rolled out ok.)
Into and out of the sand, a madhouse but no problems.
On the grass, last 180 degree corner before the hill -- my hands slipped off the brakes and I miss the turn and go into the tape. Dang - I wish I had a helmet cam for that!!! So I watch the race go by me as I get up and try to get going... Yup, in less than 1/2 a lap I go from a great spot to dead last.
I actually started to feel pretty good. Would sit on a wheel for a while, then make a hard acceleration and catch the next wheel. That worked until I was ahead of maybe 6 guys. I held them off for a lap, and there was nobody in sight ahead of me, so I figured that I just needed to keep racing and hope that the group behind me got smaller before they caught me. Who knows, might have been a good plan except for sliding out on the hill behind the hydrotube. As I got up, tried to ride, realized my front wheel was rubbing a brake, centered it, and then slowly cranked up the slight hill (big chainring was perfect for this part - as long as you had momentum, which I no longer did). Anyway, they all went past me and I never caught up again.
After the race Rob and I saw that my front wheel was pretty loose for the last few laps - I'm lucky it stayed on!
Fun day for my last cross race (we'll be out of town for the last EI). It has been a great year, and Team Reel is the best!!!