Ohio State Cyclocross Championships

This past weekend was the Ohio State Cross championships, and here's how things went down.

Saturday - Single Speed:

I signed up for both the Single Speed and Masters age group, but things were going to be tight between the races as the Masters race was right after the Single Speed race. It sounded good in theory thinking about it earlier in the week.

Field was about 20'ish or so riders, some of whom I know, most of the others I did not.

Course was flat and twisty and the rains from the previous days had left the course soft and muddy in some spots. Things were drying out a bit from the little bit of sun peeking out from the clouds, but not much.

Gun went off and I started spinning out the 39x18 I had on my old Indy Fab single speed cross bike. Soon, I found myself with Nate Z and another rider off the front of the race with one lap down.

On the second lap, I put the pressure on and got a little bit of a gap but I was pushing the heart rate limits hard so I eased it back a bit to see what was going on with the rest of the field.

Nate and the other rider come back and I let them take some pulls for the next few laps. The other rider is strong, but keeps taking consistent foot dabs and bad lines so I bide my time.

Two laps later on the back straight with no wind protection and a head wind, I let the rider take a nice long pull. Right before the 3 soft corners before the 3 tight corners before the straight, I jump around him and nail all the corners as fast as I could go. I got out of the last corner and onto the finish straight with a good 7-10 second gap.

I pushed on.

Now clear of my mini lead pack, I start riding my good lines that I was hiding in the first few laps and I slowly start building a gap.


I was feeling good and the gap grew. I stayed steady with the effort and took home the Single Speed Title for 2011.


Afterwards, thinking about the effort, my trashed and dirty bike and coughing from my asthma, I decided to bag the Masters race to save all efforts for the Elite race on Sunday. In hind site, it was a great decision.

Sunday - Elite Men:

Can to the start line on the first row, with a field of about 30'ish riders. Most notable riders were John Proppy, Steve T, Paul M and Shawn A. Not doing much of the OVCX series, I did not know the majority of the others, but the Cleveland contingent was mucho strongo and a serious amount of pain was about to go down.

Gun went, all guns were a blazing and I think I either got chopped off, cut off, or bumped by at least a half dozen or so of my closest friends going for the first corner.

Through the first corners, and over the barriers, I moved into the top 4-6 riders with the pace still a little hot.

Over the small barrier, into the sand, onto the straight. Paul comes flying by and comes straight to the front to show his presence. The pace goes up even faster.

Second lap and we are stringing things out. Gaps start to grow, and I try to concentrate on my lines, the barriers and in staying on the front. That back straight will hurt big time if I didn't stay with the front group.

3 laps in things have dwindled down and I am in all out pace group containing myself, Paul and Bike Authority teammates Steve and John.

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I immediately thinking that John and Steve are going to try to one-two us as for a few laps, one would up the pace and the other would sit back a bit and let a small go. The gaps would close as I don't think any of us wanted to miss out on the win.

Bad luck would happen for John first as he slipped out and then immediately dropped his chain. The pace was hot and immediately we got a gap.

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Now a group of 3, we all had digs at each other.

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Paul and Steve both took good strong pulls on the straights as I hung tight to their wheels on the tight sections.

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Paul took a small spill at one point, and then came right back to us - even with Steve taking some pretty clean lines and good pulls.

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The course was technical, lots of good hard turns for me and Steve to show our stuff, and with a long straight for Paul to show his hella power. It seemed like we were even and it was going to come down to the last few corners as the straight was to short for a real sprint.

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So, we started watching each other after attacking each other for the past 55 or so minutes. Going through the start/finish, I knew it would come down to the long back straight and I had to stay close to them.

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Over the barrier, into the sand and Paul and Steve lite it up and got a gap on me immediately, but I closed in on them right before the first soft left hand corner after the straight.

Paul narrowly got ahead of Steve, but Steve didn't give up and going into the tight corners before the straight, Steve tried to take to inside line.

I was directly behind them, but I thought for a second they would both crash each other out. Paul held his line and disaster struck for Steve as he rolled his front tubular off and fell down.

I got by, still going pretty hot myself. I closed the gap to Paul as he fought to stay upright. Going out of the last corner he jumped hard and had a good 10-15 gap on me coming onto the straight.

Paul would take the win, I would finish second and Steve would run in and place 3rd.

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Great day of racing and rubbing elbows, happy with my finish and overall weekend and pretty stoked to see 3 Cleveland area riders take all 3 top spots at the State Championships.


Ernesto Out

photo credits:
Julie Lewis, Lisa Martin, Blair Fraley, Kurtis Fraley

1 comment:

Levelheadsteve said...

Great job bro!