Flyers CX was in Tulsa this past weekend. It was the Oklahoma Skill Based Championship - and the BRAOK has added in Cat 2 jerseys now, which is super rad. So, it gave me something to fight for!
A lot of people showed up to the race with tired legs after the Hurtland CX race on Saturday. There are a lot of very mixed reviews coming out of that event. Most said it's out of sync with cyclocross culture - not a positive experience for the racers themselves. One said the only thing done well was the lighting for races at night.
Its fun to see races that are veying for National attention here in Oklahoma though. We've got the original race that has forged that effort coming up the first weekend in December - Ruts and Guts by promoter Tanner Culbreath. That will be the end cap of my cx season. My goals have all been focused on staying local, trying to invest in those races, and have some success there.
The Cat 1/2 Race at Flyers had the typical local turnout. About 10-12 guys lining up. I definitely "get" why more racers who are Cat 2s choose to do other races like Single Speed or Masters - there is a better chance for a podium. But there is something about having access to the fastest race of the day - against the best that show up - that still motivates me.
Because Flyers is a OKGPCX series race, and I'm miraculously sitting in second, I have a front row call up againt some UCI level racers. It seems funny to me, even more so because I have a pretty solid start.
It's very easy as a Cat 2, againt guys like that, to just "give" them a line, a position, to yield from the very begining. I try to do the opposite, start as good as I can, and hold onto what ever position I can the longest.
I managed to be 3rd into the holeshot, ahead of Sklyar. Through the first sections of the lap I could feel him buzzing around behind me ready to be up with Chris and Dylan in the first sections. I held on as long as I could before he buzzed by me.
As things settled in the first lap I had a gap on Pete R, and Cody G. Both of those guys always get stronger and smoother as the race continues. Pete was riding very well on Sunday. He caught me on the second lap and then was able to create a gap and continue rolling away.
In your head it never goes that way. You think, "As soon as he catches, I'm going to dig super hard and stick to his wheel." But if they can catch when you are going on your limit, then they can drop you just the same.
Cody and I seemed deadlocked in a small 5-10 sec gap for a lot of the race. I think he had to pit a couple times because of a flat tire that saw that gap increase a little and solidify the last couple laps.
I ended up 7th on the day, 3rd of the Cat 2s (congrats Ray and Pete!). It was a fun course. Part of it brand new, so it needs to be ridden in quite a bit more, but it had big advantages for riding skill and fitness - which is always the line I think promoters try to strike in their course designs.
Looking at the power file for this race, and previous ones, continues to impress that as much as we focus on FTP fo success - it's really a bunch of 10-45 second max efforts over and over again. That VO2 max ability with high repeatability. The major difference between crits and cross is the pedaling style and cadence. Cross is low cadence, heavy torque (thus why everyone's low back hurts) vs crits is all high cadence and low torque - but a little more constant pedaling.
Excited for the last race in the OKGPCX series this weekend with TLC's Undercross. Then we've got a break for Thanksgiving and Ruts and Guts to end the local Oklahoma cyclocross calendar.