CX is here, cx is here, cx is here. This is a race report for the Mud CX event in Lowell, AR, part of the OKCX series.
The course was a basic city park course, with little elevation change and where there was elevation change, they stacked up some off camber turns and a nice “S” turn feature that you had to go down on day 1 and up, on day 2. On day 1, they had let a water hose run all night on a dirt section, which caused it to become peanut butter, but didn’t really add much technical difficulty to the course. On day 2, it had rained the previous night, so there was standing water in many places and the mud section from the previous day, was a mud pit for day 2. There was a big lolly pop spiral on grass and a long straight away section that had you fighting a 15 mph headwind on BOTH days.
Day 1 was just flat out fast. There was about 20 of us that lined up, and it was hardcore from the gun. I had made the selection and was sitting in fourth, feeling good and ready to make a move. Everything seemed fine and good until I burped my front tire on lap 3. Tire psi is racing 101, and I failed it handily today. The rest of the race all I could do was pay attention to my nearly flat front tire, and hope to hell that it didn’t roll off on the steep “S” section. I crossed the line in 6th, with everyone in front of me rolling back to ask me what the hell happened. Shheeeeeit.
The first day it had been a lovely 82 degrees, but now everyone curious to see what was going to play out over the next 18 hours or so. A 100% chance of thunderstorms and a high of 62, led most to think about a more aggressive tire and a change up in tactics.
The day dawns to rain and promptly clears off, leaving a 20 mph wind and a definite feel of CX. I got to the course around 10, an hour or so before my race, to see how things had fared overnight. Some standing water, some more mud, and a good bit of spongy turf. I prerode, and quickly realized that I’d made the right decision going with a more aggressive tire.
We get called to the line for some instructions and then the countdown to the start. The whistle blows and we are off. I get a good hole shot and slot into 4th place. There was a good bit of standing water in places, that quickly become rutted-up mud pits. I was riding well and moved up into third and eventually second. I took turns pulling with the third place rider, as we were trying to bridge up to first, which had maybe 10-12 seconds on us. Fourth place latched onto our train as well, but kept yo-yoing when the pace was lifted. With 5 laps to go, second place washed out on a super tight S corner that was off-camber. This blocked third place behind him, and knowing that a remount at that spot wasn’t possible, I hit the power hard, knowing that they’d have to run to the top to remount. I was able to get a good 10 seconds on them, and settled in for the remaining few laps. I increased my lead to a minute and finished in second place. What a difference terrain makes eh?
Bike dork stuff:
Vittoria XL Pro – tubeless : 26 front / 28 rear
I used half a bottle of White Lightening “Wet Ride” extreme conditions lube, on all drivetrain components and had zero shifting issues.