Cyclocross season is underway.
Preparations are good and bad. Luck is bad.
The good: I'm fit as a fiddle, training is focused and recovery is quick, file tread tires.
The bad: Forgetting to preregister for elites, race cat 2/3 and starting at the back of a 90 man field, fluke mechanicals.
So here we go.
Saturday. The course was awesome; slightly wet from the previous day's rain with lots of off camber sections and tight, low speed corners. Not a lot of flat out drag sections. I settled on 34mm Fangos with 29psi front and 34psi rear. They hooked up wonderfully. My legs felt great during the warm up, and then somehow, I managed to shear off the b-screw from my derailleur, sending it into the rear wheel, bending some spokes, mangling the derailleur and hanger. So, a costly repair later, I ended up with a DNS.
Sunday. I ran Grifo XS's in the low 30's psi, started from the back of the field, passed a ton of dudes, followed Tim Pacholski around until the remount after the run-up when my chain wouldn't engage. It felt like I stripped out the freehub body, so I ran a half lap back to the pits and changed rear wheels. The same thing happened again, and I realized the chain was riding up on the chain guard, and not the chainring, so it wasn't the freehub at all. I exited the pits in last position by a long while, and used the rest of the race as good training.
At least I didn't have it as bad as Jonathan Page.
A rolled tubular on Saturday while leading the race, and two rolled tubs on Sunday while in the lead group.
The course was perfect. Everyone was raving about its authenticity and pureness. No gimiky flyovers or singletrack, just good traditional off-cambers, mostly grass with a little pavement. Nice job JPE and Renee.