Cyclo-X Weekend, Topeka Capitol Cross-Boulevard Nationals Course Preview

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I decided to stay home this weekend and race locally instead of doing the long haul to Louiville for the USGP weekend. I’m flying to New Zealand this Thursday for The Tour of Southland. I thought I had travelled enough for a while. Also, there were two cyclo-x races here locally that I felt obligated to do.

One, the Capitol Cross, in Topeka, promoted by a friend, and cyclo-x nut, Jeff Unruh. Then Sunday, The Boulevard Cup, a pre race of the Nationals course in Kansas City, sponsored by my favorite beer company.

Anyway, it is always fun to race locally. I don’t get much of a chance to do it. Usually only early season on the road. The race on Saturday in Topeka was great. It was held at the new Sports Park that used to be the Old State Hospital (insane asylum). We’ve been using it for a few years for cross practice, so it’s was pretty familiar.

Nothing much to report racewise. I got away with my friend and team mate, Bill Stolte and we road the whole race together off the front. Bill was about 5 races behind me, which means he’d ridden his cross bike in one race, so he was abit rusty. And, of course, sore for the Sunday race.

The race today was super.  It was a preview race of “Nationals Course” in Kansas City.  It finely turned fall here in Kansas. Meaning cold morning and nice days. It took awhile for the day to hit the forecasted 60 degree temperatures. Lots of participates, which is a good sign. I think there were something like 240 entries, which is huge for a cyclo-x in the midwest.

It is so fun watching the other catagories race, I usually end up standing around for way too long before I race. Watching the women’s race was good. They started with the Master’s, so there were a ton of riders on the course at the same time. Sydney Brown , Catherine Walberg, and Jennifer Tilley rode the whole race together and were separated be a couple seconds at the end. They finished in that order with Catherine and Sydney trading places from the day before.

My race went pretty good. Bill started pretty fast and road hard the first half a lap. I took over from there and ended up trading Shad Smith (team mate) for Bill and we rode the rest of the race together. I used the race to “practice” some stuff that I was having trouble with. Like, which brake to pull when. And dismouting and mounting smoother. I think I got better at both, but I need to ask Shad. Bill and Adam Mills rode together in 3rd and 4th, so it was a sweep of the first 4 places by riders of my road team.

I’m going to try to get a couple long rides in the next couple days and then get on a plane for the 30+ hour ordeal to the Southern Hemisphere. Brian Jensen, team mate, is going with me, so it should be a little more interesting this year. I have done this race for the last 3 years. I seem to gain a ton of form that lasts nearly until Cyclo-X Nationals in December. Hopefully, it will work the same this season.

Full results for both races at localcycling.com. Pictures to come.