An Accidental Quest………….the penultimate part.

           Race number 7 of the Sac CX series was last Saturday 12/3/11. Lange Twins Winery just outside of Lodi was the venue. www.langetwins.com It’s a great place, at least in part because the Winery kicks down with multiple bottles of nice wine for podium prizes! Also they let us use most of their property. Asa and her crew went down to Lodi several times to scout, plan and build. Then on Friday she and some volunteers from Kinetic Cycles went to set up Saturday’s course; stakes, cones. delineaters, and tape. I headed to Lodi after work Friday afternoon. I was expecting to help finish up the course set up but they were done before I got there so I met Ace at our motel. We like to stay near the venues when we can; more sleep and less stress. After Thai food, back at the motel, I put together a Sac CX mix to use at the race, and yes, I did include CCRs “Stuck In Lodi Again”.
            Saturday morning we’re back at Lange Twins doing the final course work and setting up the timing arch, scoring and reg computers and P.A. system. As has been the plan lately I do some m.c. work then my buddy Wyatt Morin takes the mic so I can get in a warm up and then race. ‘Cross races are short, mine is about 30 minutes, so the warm up is really important. If you have been following along with my quest you know that I went in to this race knowing that the series is mine to win or lose. This race I have the added pressure of knowing that Asa is a fan of the wine and I’m expected to come home with some!
The  start gap that didn’t hold up.

            Last race the plan that worked for me was to get a gap on my competition at the start and just stay out front. Why change a winning strategy? It turns out that the boys have decided that they won’t let me walk away with another race that easily. I get a small gap but they close it back up and at the first set of barriers 2 of them get by me. Scott gets a good gap of his own, I’m in 3rd behind Richard and it feels like he’s going to let Scott go. “Richard we can’t let him go. Punch it!” Richard kicks it up but I still have a little more go so I pass and try to get Scott. I close but lose time at the next set of barriers. It’s an up hill sprint to the finish line. I’m closing on Scott as we reach the end of lap 1. Scott looks back to see how big his gap is and I’m right on his wheel. “Oh Shit’ He is clearly bummed, thinking he had a gap and it’s gone. Lap 2 we swap positions a couple more times, then early lap 3 I get in front and slowly open up a gap. Scott finishes 3rd, Richard 2nd and I’m 1st! Which means that with one race to go I have the series locked up and I scored the big bag of wine bottles. So Asa is happy, twice. I’m all smiles.

Here we are on the podium!  With wine, metals and smiles.

             Our last race of the Sac CX series will be at Laguna del Sol, in Wilton. What I’d like to do is win one more. My motivation is I can finish the best 6 of 8 series with 6 wins for a perfect 300 points, right now I have 299. Only a couple of other racers have a shot at the perfect 300 point season. I’m going to try to go for it. It remains to be seen if I can do it. I know the Grammo Paru is up it.One more time please, wish me luck.  by George

             

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