One year ago, Woodstock was my first CX race ever, I met Julie before my race (she said I like your purple bike!), she then asked me what I thought about my first race and offered me an ice cold Half Acre!  I then jump-started the dead Cuttin' Cruiser, was offered another beer (or two) and the rest was history - I was sucked-in!

Although I didn’t realize then what a power course it was (not my strength), the half-lap I did yesterday to pre-ride quickly reminded me. I Lined up for masters – feels good to get a number 4 call-up - and once again – no Tom Shafer?!?  Bobbled the clip-in and quickly found myself arguing with 4 guys for the first couple turns till the first climb, where Wayne and I left them...I hung w/Wayne pretty well through lap one – but he wasn’t pushing that hard anyway.  He kept yelling back at his “road” buddy Mike to come along.  So on lap two, he sat-up on the back of the course looking for Mike so I took the lead.  I said – you gonna grab Mike and beat up on me – and Wayne laughs.  I maintained the lead till we came around to the spectator area, where he passed me heading to the barrier runup, and took off with his Turkey Jerky handup from Jacob (yes, I got mine too – straight in the mouth!).  I look back after the hairpin and see we have a nice gap on the balance of the field, so I just go about my business of trying to hang w/Wayne as best I can (not good enough) to the support of my teammates.  We start chipping away at the back end of the 30+’s, put our 5 laps in and mission accomplished – my 3rd second place finish in a row, moving me into third in the points with a 17 point deficit to 2nd (Wayne’s got it locked).

3’s:  I felt kinda wrecked and unmotivated for the 3’s race, but I always get a bit more inspired when I line up with my teammates.  It was also good to see Chris Hammer (Wheelfast) get his upgrade to 3’s and line up with us.  Got a good start and started passing as many as possible before the first two turns as I expected mayhem.  Got through pretty cleanly and could see Dave and Zach just ahead of me.  I passed Zach somewhere near the trees, then he passed me back up the hill by the pond.  Blasted the front straight and could feel the lack of strength in the legs as we round the tennis courts, where I see "odd" tire tracks, and there is Zach getting up from a fall.  I yell "come-on Zach" and head to the woods.  I can hear Hammer behind me and as we hit the climb into the trees, then I feel a “pop”, and a sharp pain in the right knee – same spot.

I immediately back out and let Chris and Zach and a host of others by and stop at the top to have a look – I see a bit of a bump, feel this knot of some type – and quit on the spot.  I go back to the tent, show it to Kristin who immediately gets me an ice pack. After 10 minutes of ice, (and a beer) it subsides and actually, the pain goes away – not sure what it is/was, but with three days of racing at Jingle this weekend and Montrose Masters on the line, best to sit this one out anyway.

Good race by the HAC camp and I wish I coulda hung, but as I said – mission accomplished.  It was great to see Jacob get his best Juniors finish (PROPS TO SARAH AND ERICA!) with a 10th (or as he put it 3rd in 10-14), and he had a great drag race to the line to beat his nemesis and even threw-in the Michael Schumacher fist pump as he crossed the line – I think I have created a monster!  Evan improved his finish for his third straight race, which is icing on the cake and it was extra-special-awesome to see Kristin cave in from all the pressure and have a go at it! Considering she really hasn’t ridden a bike all summer – I was duly impressed!

Spam alley was out of control (as was I - sorry PB) but I assure you that we have a handup surprise in store for Montrose!  Another hats-off to the event organizers and the CCC for a stellar event - and once again - we have one helluva team!

 -Al Thom