|(Anthony James photo)|
Despite the lingering effects of a headcold that tried to bring me down on Wednesday and Thursday, I had a good performance in Saturday’s WCA cyclocross race at East Troy. The weather worked in my favor: it was sunny and almost 80 degrees for my 2:45 p.m. start. Some racers didn’t like the warmth, and in retrospect even I could have benefited from a water bottle during the 30-minute Cat 4 Masters race. I placed 4th out of 22 in the 45+ age group.
Mark Badger (Brazen Dropouts) took the win. I knew he would be a threat, so early Saturday morning I wrote his name and number of a piece of masking tape and affixed it to my handlebar as a reminder not to let him get away. But he got a clean start while I got boxed in by riders on both sides, and I never really got close to him again. Michael Hartzell (Trek Midwest Team) finished in 2nd place and Jeff Gantz (Big Ring Flyers) took 3rd. I could see those two just ahead of me late in the race, but I couldn’t close the gap.
My finish was worth 14 series points, giving me a total of 34 and moving me into 1st place after 3 races. West Bend’s Troy Sable (unattached) was the series leader but didn’t compete on Saturday. Andrew Stevens (Rat City Racers) was 6th at East Troy and is now 2nd in the series with 32 points. Steve Cummins (Team Pedal Moraine) won the Cat 4 Masters 55+ race and continues to lead the series in his age group. I earned 2 more USA Cycling upgrade points at East Troy, giving me a total of 5 in my quest to upgrade to Cat 3. That puts me halfway to the voluntary upgrade threshold and one third of the way to the mandatory level.
Next weekend will begin with a WCA series race in Milwaukee on Saturday and end with a non-series race in Manitowoc on Sunday. The weather won’t be as kind to me—right now it looks like we’ll have temperatures in the 40s on both of those mornings—but it will be a good weekend if I can maintain my series lead and pick up a couple of additional upgrade points.