Alabama. What do you think of when you think of Alabama? I think of college football. After today I also think of kick ass cyclocross races. This morning Jeremy and I headed down to the 6th race of the Bamacross series, the first of two consecutive weekends at Avondale Park. The park is near downtown and as a result, there were a bunch of spectators including an overzealous girl that stopped Jeremy and I mid-pre-ride to chastise us for being on the course during the masters/womens race (In our defense, we got off course whenever anyone came within a few seconds of catching us). Instead of arguing, I simply rode away, prompting her to inform me that she would make it her personal mission to "heckle" us the "entire race." Incidentally, I had to remind her on the second lap, but once prompted, she and her friends gladly obliged.
The course was layed out with a lot of turns, some grassy power sections, lot's of braking/accelerating, two tough run-ups back-to-back and a lot of hidden rocks/roots. Very fun, wish they'd had a single speed race to occupy my time while Jeremy raced, but you can't have it all.
Anyway, by the time the Pro 1/2/3 (everyone at once) race went off, the sun was shining and temperatures hovered around 60 degrees. 30 of us started, I worked up to the top 10 by the time we hit the brutal, 30+ step, stone run-up. A few guys tried to cheat by skipping the steps and running beside them so I used my shouldered bike as a blocking device and kept the crowd at bay. Over the top of the second run-up I was in 6th, made it up to 5th, dropped a place and settled in on Troy's wheel. Troy is 47 and tough as hell. He doesn't turn as well as I do, but he's a lot stronger/smarter than me so I was content to sit in. A college kid I'd met pre-race caught and passed us and the 3 of us stayed together, vying for 4th place for a couple laps. Troy got a gap, then the kid got a little gap but I closed it down in the final corners. I calculated my move and made it but the kid shut the door, (accidentally) then apologized, but it was too late and I didn't have anything left for the sprint. 6th place, just off the podium. I felt great, didn't fade, didn't let up, didn't make my move for the podium stick but had a really good race, loved the course and had a lot of fun.
I think the legs are back-ish, three weeks until the next races, two points races back-to-back on the 18th and 19th.
I'll try to post up a picture or two.
Best thing I've seen all week, this is for the Cat 4 riders, time to upgrade, ladies...