Day 2 at Marty Cross started with some aches and pains for those that raced the previous day but a renewed spirit as the rumor was the course would be run in the reverse direction. This would allow the prior day’s runup to be a slick ride-down and make the course just a tiny bit easier than the Day 1 edition. As we arrived at the course, a quick course inspection revealed that it was in fact the same exact course and it would be ridden in the opposite direction as rumored. This was great as it was familiar for those who would be racing both days but the groove of the course was quite a bit different. This version seemed to have a better flow and as the course had 1 more day to dry with more grip in the turns giving the riders even more confidence.
This past weekend the CycleCraft/Bulldogs made their way over to Marty Cross(North Cross)’s two day event in Chester NJ. The course was a beautiful winding course through the Telephone Poll farm that consisted primarily of grass with a few sections of pavement, gravel, a little mud, and a whole lot of pain. Day 1 had a lot of good racing as the race was well attended and a sizeable attraction as it served for the New Jersey State Championship race. Throughout the day the Bulldog colors could be seen in most of the races. Even though the preceding days had a less than favorable forecast, the racecourse was in great condition for the weekend’s events. The attraction of the day was a steep 100 ft. long hill that was possible to run up and ride up – neither of which being easy.
Going into this race I had a lot of motivation to beat the result I had last year where I finished 6th place in the HS group. I got there early to help setup and ended up doing a lot more pre-riding than I should have because my friend David was trying his first race ever so I wanted to help him out. Once the races finally got started I sat down and waited for my group to go. My other friend Dan showed up, who rides for Colvita, and was looking to race. I watched David go off right before I started to warm up and I hoped that he would do well and like the race. Turns out David finished third in the HS B group and wants to try more mountain biking.
The race started and Dan and I were in first and second place going into the first climb. Going up the climb, Dillon passed both of us and we never saw him again. It became a race for second between me and Dan. For the first few laps Dan stayed about 100 yards ahead of me. On the fourth lap I reeled Dan in and passed him on the climb. Dan stayed on my wheel for the rest of the race but I was determined not to get passed. Dan dropped back towards the end of the last lap and I cruised to a second place finish.
BL and I went to Branch Brook on Saturday to get some good racing miles in this weekend. My first race was the Cat 4/5. Good thing I was able to get a decent warm up because the first two laps were full gas. I surprised to see 30+ mph for the first two laps and was later informed by BL that we shed about half of the 75 rider field very early in the race. About 4 laps in I was close to the front and a couple of guys got a gap so I jumped up to them.