Dec 4, 2010

Monkey Cross 3, Levi Leipheimer and Sausages

I have two birthday parties to attend, and I just jumped out of the shower, so this will not be extremely detailed and very picture heavy. Sorry, I know how much you enjoy reading me go on and on about something or other obscure, but I promise tomorrow will be a longer more verbose post. 

Originally I was going to write a post and title it "this week in cycling," recapping everything that went on in the world of pro cycling and the like, but then some exciting things happen and I think you guys will enjoy this more than seeing my sarcastic comments with a bunch of links to them.

So earlier I told you that I'd do a write up about cyclocross, well, here it is. I went out to race in Santa Rosa today at Monkey Cross 3. This course was way more technical than I expected. Zach and I accidentally drove to the venue last week when we were trying to get to Monkey Cross 2, which was held at a different park across town. From the parking lot, it looked like flat soccer field, and I was hoping they would just wind us up and down that for about a mile. Well, that was not to be. I mean there was plenty of winding, but it all happened on a little hill to the right of the soccer field, which I somehow missed the last time around. There were plenty of turns, most 180 degrees, most off-camber ... oh, and there was plenty of slippery mud and rocks in the way. Last week at the Golden Gate Park Race, a guy described cyclocross as a time trial in a cement mixer. Well, this course certainly fit the bill. Since my own race was probably the least exciting thing that happened today, I'll make it brief.

I rode really hard, crashed 4 times, once on my face, though somehow managed to keep it completely clean. Ended up 23 out of 31, and without much delay proceeded with my second and third favorite things about cyclocross.

Beer ... and

And as I was finishing my first beer and grilling up some nice post-ride grub, whom do I see sneakily scouting out the course ... non other than the "el patron" himself [that's how they call him in Santa Rosa], Levi Leipheimer.

Apparently, Levi's bike also thought that this course was very technical, because his seat needed a bit of wrenching post pre-ride, which I was surprised he did himself.

Once he was done fixing up his seat and got his bike all ready to go, I figured it was a good time to go bug him for a picture. He was extremely friendly and didn't mind the photo-op.
I'm 6'1", if you need a reference point.
The As race was scorching hot and very exciting. I'm thinking that everyone expected Levi to crush the field, but that was not to be. He started out in seventh and stayed there for quite a while before he got a hang of the course and really started to make up some time.
Negotiating some barriers, very gingerly, I might add. Surprise?
No issues with the slippery fast downhill, though.
Same spot, better angle. At least I think that's a better angle.
By the blurry background, you might think he was going fast, but he's probably about 10mph here - it was sloppy!

With about two laps to go, he made it into third position. That was really the only one that was up for grabs. The guy in first had about 2 and a half minutes on the field, and the guy in second had about a minute on everyone else behind him. However, with one lap to go, Levi got passed ... by his mechanic. Maybe there's a reason Levi was wrenching his own seat?

But enough about Levi. The Bs race also saw some exciting action. There were some Mission Cyclists in the mix and they definitely had a great showing. Zach, Greg and Dan all fought the course hard and had beer and sausages waiting for them at the finish. The entire race, Zach and Greg were neck in neck, passing and re-passing each other on various parts of the course. 

Here's Zach chasing Greg.
And here's Greg chasing Zach.
Dan looked like he was working overtime at the race, great showing!

Greg and Zach ended up 4th and 5th, respectively, with Dan coming in 8th, despite dropping his chain and losing a ton of time trying to get it back on in the mud. Way to fight back for a strong finish! It was definitely and exciting day in Santa Rosa today, and the organizers of Bay Area Super Prestige promised a hell of a course at Coyote Point tomorrow. More on that after it happens, in detail! Now I'm going to go drink, heavily!

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