The second day of racing started out much better than yesterday. A much better night sleep and making it in time for Chris to warm up a bit before his race kept us from getting overly stressed. The course was run in reverse with the 2 sets of barricades, mud, stairs, fast section, sand pit, and then the slick, off-camber 180 degree turns dumping us onto a straight street finish. At the start of the race I found myself in the 3rd row, a little better starting position than yesterday. After the initial sprint I was hoping on settling into a rhythm fairly quickly since I didn't have to fight my way back for a good position, but it never quite seemed to happen. I found myself in the top 10 fairly quickly and was battling to pick off each rider in front for the first 2 laps. The barricades and stairs worked in my advantage and I was able to find the top 3 during the final turn of the second lap. The turn into the first set of barricades I started sliding out, unclipped my right foot to keep myself upright, and used that as the beginning of my dismount. I took the barricades at speed and was able to take 2nd place before the next set of barricades, which gave me a little more of a gap. Still not settling in, I pushed hard through the sand pit on the fourth and final lap where I finally felt I had a safe enough gap where I could relax a bit. I always wonder why there has to be an off-season for cross, but after this first weekend of racing I've realized that we have an off-season to forget how much pain this puts us in!
Thanks again to everybody for the support. Thanks to the wonderful staff at BikeBeat Newport News for covering for Chris and I while we went to the race. And thanks to Twenty20 Cycling for supporting such a great event. See everyone next time!
|Ava in the number 2 spot after a greatrace|