Cyclocross! Gillies Creek in Richmond, VA


42 degrees with rain. Some great Belgian weather for CX. This is one of my favorite courses of all time with the added benefit of being 15 minutes from my house. How many courses do you get to ride a BMX track on?! Although you do it backwards so they don’t send roadies on cross bikes off the steep lips. This is my last outdoor race of the year and I’m not in the running for an upgrade, so I went for full-fun and did it on my mountain bike.

Overall I think the main thing I could have done a bit better was if I’d have gunned it harder from the start and really fought for a better position. I got stuck pretty far back and it bottle-necked pretty far at the first stair case. Oh well, my fault! The course was pretty slick and I saw one person completely slide out in front of me (soon after 6 minutes) and someone else fishtail in front of me, I fishtailed twice but rode out of both. I could see the group I was aiming for just a few seconds ahead of me for most of the race but never bridged the gap. I was red-lining so I don’t think I can really say I could have put out more effort. Looking at my line choice I could have been smoother but that gets surprisingly hard at 180bpm. I got 13th out of 40ish so I’m pretty happy with that. Please note the end of the race where Kevin looks over his shoulder several times with a grin, lets me almost catch up, then hits the line just ahead of me while I scream with effort. Fun times. I’ll get him next year.

Things I learned:

  • Go harder at the start, fight for position
  • Make more of an effort for bike/body separation in corners
  • Stand on hard efforts more

Things I’m happy with:

  • Aerobic performance, I paced hard but didn’t blow up
  • Pre-race nutrition was dialed
  • Pre-race mental routine was great, ended up really pumped at the line but not nervous at all

Thanks to everyone involved in Virginia Cyclocross, it’s been a super fun year. See you next year in Roanoke!

1 Response

  1. Fritz Hartman says:

    Hey this was awesome! The course seemed really nice. A combo of a whole lot of elements without getting too turny or mountain bikey. If I may hazard one tiny suggestion to the course designers: the start seemed problematic … to me. You had 13 seconds before they riders were “funneled”. That aint enough time for anything! I don’t know, but I don’t think that a race should be decided by who got to the start line first … you know what I am saying? And then it funneled again at the stairway. And there are douche bags who sit around and say, “well that makes no difference. Just start faster.” Next time they should start at the back. Now I am wasting a lot of time whining about what was really a great course (from what I could see). I think you made the right decision to do the race with a Mountain Bike. No sense in going down on a race that really doesn’t mean anything, and it looked a bit slick.

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