Saturday, October 2 , was the kickoff of the UTCX (Utah Cyclocross Series), with a hot, dry, and dusty affair out at the Ballard Equestrian Center in Draper. Otherwise known as the Draper Goathead Farm. As I arrived at the race venue with Potter and the Snow Chicken, we saw Steve, one of the Briley Sisters sitting on the sidelines with flat tires. He picked up goatheads in his race wheels, switched in the pits, and still fell victim to the spiney little mofos in the Masters 45 A race. Brother Tim must have fared better with the thorns and finished 13th in the 35+ Master B race. The word on the street was the earlier racers did a good job of clearing the course, and that you needed to stay in the middle of the trails to avoid picking up the little air sucking passengers. So basically, I warmed up on the road, not wanting to risk getting holes poked in my tires during warmups.
I’ll spare you the details of how my race went, other than to say I went out extremely hard, set the pace for the first half lap, but wasn’t able to stay with Sam and A-Train up the road climb. I got passed by a whole bunch of people, but was able to settle in and get back to the group that was riding for 5th. As we were riding up the hill approaching the line for the bell lap, I looked back and saw someone coming up hard to the group. It was Bartman, who was on a rampage in the Elite A race. True, he was lapping us solo, but he also started his first lap 2 minutes ahead of our race, so cut us old guys a little slack. As he came up to our group, he asked if we wanted it to end (had he passed us and crossed ahead of us, we would have finished on the same lap and had to sprint it out right then and there). Knowing that the 4 guys ahead of us would be doing another full lap, we told Bart to stay behind, so we could all duke it out for 5th on the last lap. This is where it gets kind of hazy: I think Ohran surged, and I was duking it out with McCone to come to grips with the acceleration. And that’s pretty much how we finished.
So much for post race frites and a cold beer. I was so hot and toasted, I immediately headed for shade and it took a long time to get the core body temperature back down to comfortable. Oh yeah, and I had the cross cough for the rest of the weekend.