Photo finish for 5th MSG 'cross race
Entry updated Feb. 12, 2008 at 1:03 p.m.
Want a challenge? Try racing cyclocross during the holidays.
The second to last Mud, Sweat and Gears cyclocross race, held Saturday in Johnson City, Tenn., was not difficult technically. The men's CX3 field wasn't as deep as previous races.
And my sixth place finish doesn't hint the suffering involved -- traditional Thanksgiving dinners and a general lack of serious training is not good for a sport where your average heart rate is more than 150.
But the best part is how I finished.
As I neared the finish line on my final lap, I tried to shift down into a gear more suitable for sprinting.The derailleur clunked into place, then jumped back to the previous gear, all while the wheel began rubbing the brake pads.
In other words, the worst situation as you near the line with a competitor approaching behind you.
I shouldered the bike in a state of panic and hoofed it towards the finish line. I didn't even realize a racer was nearing me until the crowd started yelling to run faster, which I did, beating him by inches at the most.
Also, I apologize to anyone within earshot of that finish. The words leaving my mouth after crossing the line were definitely not PG!
I hope this placing will put me in contention for a top five ranking overall (results aren't posted as of this entry). The final race, also in Johnson City, is worth double points.
I'm also praying for rain. Or maybe snow. This is cyclocross season after all!