First XC race at the velopark today. I was the 25th sport to sign up, I'm not sure what the final count was.
They had a fairly challenging course. It started straight and flat by the parking lot, turned up the fire road for a bit, and then a long section of singletrack (D's chaos?). Then it went down a short stretch of sketchy gravel road, turned to a downhill section with short bumps, and ended with a steep, loose 180 turn at the bottom of a short steep section -- but wait, there's more. Then riding back up to the top and head down the 4-cross course. (That's the same place where I tore a rotator cuff!). The 4-cross is not good for me, plus it was kind of rutted out, so it was tough. From there, they had a short loop into the hills again, and then back by the velopark. Then they had 2 more short loops in the flatter section.
Tom and I had a horrible start location, but were able to get to about 10-11 before the first singletrack. Unfortunately, and older gentleman was slowing things down, so a group of 3 or 5 got a huge gap off the front, and any gap we had from the fire road was lost as people caught up on the single track. I got passed on the 4-cross (no surprise there).
Second lap I was feeling good and passed a few folks going up the fire road. Lost time on the 4-cross, but stayed upright.
Third lap, not much change. Happy to report I still hadn't crashed!
Fourth lap, Tom and I are talking while on the fire road. Each of us are offering the lead position, but since he's definitely faster on the singletrack I pulled over to the side to make it clear he should lead! He did a great job, I got passed on the 4-cross, and then the rest of the lap it was Tom, yellow-jersey-guy, and then me. I was never able to pass (I really wanted to cross the line with Tom!) so the early results show us at 1:09, with Tom at 5th and me at 7th. It was pretty spread out at this point, with almost 2 minutes to the guy ahead of our group, and over 2 minutes to the next finishers.
All in all, it was a tough, fun course. The weather was perfect. I had a license, so my race cost less than I expected ($20). And I didn't crash! So it was a great day, I'm glad I was able to try it out.