Race Report: State Cross Championship
Sunday, November 21st, 2010
A good day at the State Championship Cyclocross Races for Brazen Dropouts and Junior Dropouts! We medaled in 5 of the 8 categories we entered (out of 17 categories total).
- David Peters, Brazen Dropouts, Masters 35+, GOLD
- Emma Swartz *, Junior Dropouts/Planet Bike, u14 Girls, GOLD
- Glen Jones, Brazen Dropouts, Masters 55+, GOLD
- Caleb Swartz, Junior Dropouts, u14 Goys, BRONZE
- Steve Gaffield, Brazen Dropouts, 45+ Cat 4, GOLD
Full results http://usacycling.org/results/?permit=2010-2791
In addition there were several other Top 5 and Top 10 finishes. I would be remiss if I didn't give some credit to the many teammates and their friends and family out there cheering us on and helping in a variety of ways - it makes a difference.
* Emma did a good job keeping her cool to overcome a mechanical in her Junior race soon after the start. She came from behind to prevail over all of the u14 boys and girls. The plus side is we got some good experience with bike swaps in the pits. Then she had same mechanical on the same bump in the Cat 3 race later... Now I have some work to do to solve a Rear Der mystery ASAP before we have to send bikes out to Bend for Nationals.
Here's a report from the Junior Boys Under 14 group...
As you know, these fields can be fairly sparse and the races somewhat boring once the kids get spread out. Well, not yesterday. Caleb and Sam Seiloff have been well matched dueling a fair bit this year. Sam has had a couple of wins when Caleb was under the weather or not at his best. Typically Sam is stronger on the flats and power sections and Caleb thrives in the technical stuff and run-ups (like fathers like sons?). Sam Beste is 13 and always wins but there is a 10 yo named Andrew Schmidt who is very fast (won a sprint for 3rd at MTB Nats in his age group by 0.1 seconds) that often gets 2nd or 3rd depending on who shows up. Once the race got under way it was Sam Beste, then Andrew Schmidt, followed by Sam S and Caleb trading places and racing wheel to wheel. From my vantage point in the pits I could see on the 2nd of 3 laps that Sam and Caleb were beginning to close on Andrew (it appeared Andrew was tiring or perhaps unmotivated because he was alone, or maybe felt a bit complacent). As S&C left the pit area to the south end of the course on Lap 3, I was anticipating a great battle between them. I hoped Caleb could gap Sam off on the twisty and off camber stuff because I figured Sam could finish stronger on that long flat straightaway (the course was identical to last year). I only had to wait a few minutes... Then, to our great surprise THREE riders together came across the bridge heading toward the finish! It was Andrew with C on his wheel and S on his! C played it well and tried to come around Andrew at about the right moment. He had ALMOST enough to get by him (only 1/2 wheel difference at the line), with Sam close behind. So for the state championshps they finished Gold = Sam Beste, Silver = Andrew Schmidt, Bronze = Caleb S, 4th = Sam S, followed in 5th by a steady Charlie Pingel who is a year younger than Sam S and Caleb and knows his days of cross country running are going to pay off in CX in the future.
This epic battle for 2nd pushed the riders to their absolute limits and elicited some emotional and physical responses. Andrew Schmidt was reported to be in tears (presumabley from the effort and/or the stress of being hunted down). As soon as he crossed the line, Sam S jumped off his bike, went to the edge of the course, and threw up. Later on he was all smiles and talking about next cyclocross season. Now that's racing!
I am so proud of the boys for having fun, racing very hard, and still being boys. They spent a bunch of time after their races romping together by the creek and frolicking on the playground while cheering on their racing dads. ( Dave Sieloff beat me and it was no contest :o) )
This was a great race to help prep Caleb for CX Nationals in a couple of weeks. We are looking forward to it as there should be a couple of dozen 9-11yo boys on the course to duel with.
From Dave Sieloff:
The best finish of the day was with the JR 10 to 14 race. Charlie Pingel (Jim), Caleb Swartz (Andy) Sam Sieloff (Dave) all rode a hard race to cap off their WCA season. These kids have really raced hard all year and I give them all the credit in the world. They race 30 minutes just like the Cat 4s. Anyway Sam and Caleb were engaged in a 2 man battle trying to catch Andy who has beaten them all year. Last time up the run up, they caught him. It was now a 3 man race for 2nd, 3rd and 4th. As they left the woods the last time, they were winding up the straight away for the finish line. They really poured in on at the end and gave the fans a great 3 man show. They ended up Andy, Caleb and Sam. Andy fell to the ground totally gassed while Sam demonstrated his gave it his all by puking. As they say, never look back and leave it all on the track. Caleb was the only one left standing who was stoked about his first sprint finish. He should be all set for Nationals. Although Charlie was not in this battle, he finished a strong race Even though his dad did not let him warm up before hand. A little humor Jim! Well done boys!
The Masters 55+ 1,2,3 race ended up Glen Jones, Greg Pautsch, Daryl Mataya, Dave Sieloff, Dave Simmeron and I think Tom Palmer followed by a few others. Back to the wounded warrior comment - I ended up with a mild concussion and bruised ribs from a fall at Sun Prairie. Hurt like heck for a few days but felt pretty good riding the paved trails later in the week. That was until Sunday as soon as I did my first pre-ride lap. The course had 156 turns per lap (give or take a few) with plenty of bumps throughout. But no chance of backing down especially when my 11 year old give it all he had earlier. Long story short is I battled with Gordy and Dave the first couple laps. Dave's girl friend was following us on the course telling us the gap to the leaders and trying to motivate him to drop me. I can't tell you how many times she screamed that "Sieloff is still on your wheel!" I'm not sure he needed to be reminded that many times ;-) but it motivated me. I found it kind of humerous during the heat of the battle and helped take my mind off the rib pain. We dropped Gordy on the second lap. I think the course had too many turns for his liking. I stayed on Dave's wheel for another lap before making my move the next time over the barriers. I pulled in front of him going up the little climb but then he tried to pass me back on the 180 turn. With plenty of friends and fans cheering us on, I gave it all I had. No time to look back but thanks to my mirror, I could see I had a small gap. It was now or never so I kept the gass on and increased the gap. Although I did not puke at the end, the pain in my ribs was off the chart. I could hardly move my right arm. But no pain, no gain. I can now lick my wounds for next year.
Another funny moment happened when I came upon Andy who was racing the masters 45+ 1,2,3 race ahead of us. As I passed him, he yelled out encouraging words including a comment about going as hard as you can until you puke! So there it is. A great ending to the 2010 cross season for Sam and I. Congrats to all of the fellow BDs who medaled and/or best wishes to all of those doing Jingle Cross or Nationals.
From Steve Gaffield:
Perhaps more than a somewhat unusual good result, the highlights were riding hard on a fun course, hearing lots of cheers of encouragement, and listening to Caleb Swartz tell the tale of the epic juniors sprint involving puking and crying!
As most know, I separated my shoulder at Badger Prairie 5 weeks ago after getting run off the road in the Cat 4 mass start and endoing over the lap counter. I've been hitting the PT exercises hard and spent a month on the trainer trying to stay motivated. (I'll put in a plug for Chris Carmichael's book the Time Crunched Cyclist for low hours - high intensity workouts.) I felt good enough to race at Sun Prairie and managed second in the Cat 4 45+, getting my doors blown off in a finish sprint with MadCity's Tom Starr. It was so great to be back in the game that I hardly cared.
At Hales Corners, I was expecting a hard race against Tom again. I settled into 4th position, behind Tom, after the hole shot and sand pit, then focused on not losing wheels as the 4 of us weaved through the Cat 4 35+ pack. Our leader (Pat Janisch - Cafe Hollander) got several wheels ahead, and I had to chill out as we sloooowly worked through the chicanes on the first half lap. Finally on the hill Tom, 3rd place (Sean Shields of Hampshire Cycling) and I could pass a bunch of 35+ riders and latch onto Pat's wheel. On the run up, I mounted right after the barrier (which I practiced in warm ups after remembering seeing others do that on different courses) and that got me into 2nd as the other guys floundered in traffic at the top of the hill. I dodged a 35+ rider who went down at the next right turn and rode Pat's wheel the rest of the 1st lap. I sprinted by on the open start of the next lap, saw just 2 laps to go, and found Tom Starr stuck to my wheel like gum on the bottom of my shoe. I knew I had to shake Tom in the technical stuff, since he's got a great engine, so I just tried to ride fast and smooth through the chichanes and gradually opened a gap that stuck. I had visions of him chasing me down again, but I was having an absolute blast on that fun course, and my legs felt great. I held off his final charge the last time up the hill and knew I had it in the bag if I didn't screw up. I kept it rubber side down and finished with a 10 sec or so gap, not quite believing I actually won something. At risk of self embarrassment, here's a video that Heather put together of the race:
It was so much fun I signed up for the open Cat 4, started near the back (no more separated shoulders...) and had fun picking people off. I found myself in 5th and closing on a couple guys on the last lap when I got sloppy on the double barrier and bounced my chain off, letting a couple of guys go by. Live and learn. And 7 laps was HARD - boy do I have respect for those who race an hour straight. Ouch!
So now it's time to cat up and start experiencing the back end of races again.