For the 2012-13 race season, we are sponsoring Junior US cross racer, Cole Reece. Based in Pennsylvania, Cole is a promising racer, already enjoying success on the velodrome. His fluid cadence and diligent work ethic transfer over to the punishment on hand with cross and we look forward to seeing him develop throughout the season.
Cole will be sharing some race reports and photos to help us follow him this year. Bon courage, Cole!
Cole's first post:
MECHANICALS, CRASHES AND NEAR MISSES
While there are many ways to start a cyclocross season, my start was certainly not ideal. The first race of the season was Nittany Lion Cyclocross, a full weekend of racing. Last year, this was my first cyclocross race ever and also my first win so I had high expectations for the race weekend. On Day 1, the weather was perfect. There had been no rain, I got on the course for a quick pre-ride. The course remained the same as it had been last year; flat and fast with a bunch of u-turns. The only sketchy parts were two hard u-turns across gravel, which I was a little cautious about. After the pre-ride, I finished warming up and headed over to the start line. As the officials called us up to race, I wasn’t nervous at all. I was only excited for the beginning of the cross season. As the official blew the whistle, I tried to get the holeshot and ended up second at the start. At about halfway through the first lap I was in 3rd position and was approaching the first gravel u-turn. I dove through the corner at the same speed I had taken during warm-up and the exact same line. This time however, the racer in front of me took the turn way too tight and took out my front wheel. I smashed hard on my head and laid there for a moment, too stunned to move. I got back on my bike and went as hard as I could to make contact with at least one of the other racers. Alas, I couldn’t make contact with any other of the racers and finished in 7th, far off from my result of the previous year. I didn’t race Day 2, due to the risk that I might aggravate the head injury.
After the bad start to the season, I was looking forward to getting my revenge during the next race, which was Charm City Cyclocross in Baltimore, the biggest race in the MAC series. I left for the race early Saturday morning with two of my friends, Zach Prebosnyak and Sam Margolis, who I race with on the velodrome. After a 3-hour drive, we arrived at the race. Once again, the weather was perfect. However, since it rained the days leading up to the race, some of the corners were a little slick. When we went on the course to pre-ride, the course was just as hard as it had been the year before. A hard uphill u-turn into a stair climb, an extremely high set of barriers circling around a tree, and another high set of barriers right near the end of the course. At the start of the race I looked around. The race was easily the largest junior field I would compete in all season. The whistle went off and I slotted into 5th position after the holeshot. However every few hundred meters I would get a stabbing pain in my back. The first two laps I did my best to ignore it and kept pushing through, tailing just a few seconds off the first five guys. On the third lap though, the pain got so unbearable it made it impossible to pedal. I dropped out, depressed. That night I couldn’t get to sleep because I was too busy thinking about how I would do the next day. During the morning of day two, my legs (and more importantly, my back) felt amazing. As it turned out, they were amazing. I spent the entire race in the top three and only finished in fourth because I was in too hard a gear for the final sprint. Either way, it definitely made up for my first few failed races.