51ème Omnium Genevois de Cyclo-Cross, 02.11.2013

written on Monday, November 4, 2013

Although it was a heavy rain in the morning of the race, promising if not the super-slppery course, but the the soft and very "juicy" ground for sure, especially considering ability of the swiss ground here to absorb water. This year the following set of obstacles was offered to the racers:

  • start section on the asphalt, with the wide and realtively fast u-turn, a bit of the straight asphalt aftewards;
  • plenty of 90-degree turns and and series of Z-turn combos;
  • several serious and challenging U-turns
  • 1 barrier section and one very difficult run-up, which drains the power like a vampire drains blood of a virgin lady;
  • 3 cycle-able uphill parts, with one of them being very steep even for 38-27 gear combo.

The race was without start grid, i.e. the placement on a start line was free. I managed to occupy the most left position in the second row, thus fixing the error from the previos race.

start line

The departure of the race was extremely fast, but I managed to stay in the middle, behind relatively fast guys, thus passing the Z- and U-turns with relatively normal speed.

first lap

first_lap_Z_turn

first_lap_Z_turn_1

Then I've started slowly to pass other guys - and somebody passed me, of course. The first run-up on the difficult uphill was a real pain:

big_run_up

big_run_up_1

The good point was that finally I started to pass barriers almost with the full speed:

barrier

The interesting battle started for me on the last lap with the master Daniel Genet - a lot of respect for him, I wish I have the same spirit and legs at his age. He managed to climb up from almost the last place close to the top 10:

veteran_1

He was closer and closer to me on each lap, especially reducing the distance on the major run-up; we were head to head during last 3 laps, with the gap around 10-13 seconds:

big_climb_me

big_climb_master

after_climb_me

after_climb_master

At the end of penultimate lap he passed me during this run-up and flew away from me on the grass section, making me extremely envy to his pedaling abilities. At this moment I almost thought, that I would not be able to catch him, but in the barrier section, U- and Z- turns, I was able to gain a bit of time, and after the first uphill of the last lap I approached and attacked in the middle of the second climb.

z_turn_me_and_master

z_turn_me

Then it was only pushing, with constant acceleration after each turn. Also while pursuing him, I noticed one interesting line used by man opponent, and started to use it myself. As the result, I put a solid gap and secured my 13th position in overall standing. I should say, I really have a lot of respect to this racer, and probably won our small battle only due to my age.

penultimate_lap

Some technical notes:

  • I've run the same setup as always, with 1.8/1.95 bars in the front/rear tires, but bottomed out couple of times on the stones without consequences.

  • I'm not sure, that I will be able to climb the steepest uphill of the race with the 42-27 gear combo, thus doubting in the idea of single 42t chainring.

  • I still have a lot of errors in the beginning of the race due to the start fever - that is the obvious way to improve for me. The first few laps are the most difficult ones, where the concentration of the errors are very high. I can even start to forget the track!

That's it for the moment! Stay tuned and happy crossing!

Many thanks to André Cavazanna and Crancycles for providing this wonderful photos from the cyclocross races in general and this especially.

Categories: cx

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