Warm temps and bright, sunny skies were not the ideal weather for a mid November 'cross race, but that's what we got. In a season that has been the polar opposite of last year's mudfest, unseasonably warm temps and dry conditions are the norm. This year's NCGP course was much as it has been over the past years with the "Wall", a large run up on the back side, several tight turning sections, a singletrack climb in the woods and a long, mixed surface straightaway that puts riders in the headwind for a power sapping chunk of each lap's total time.
Master's field were enormous with 54 35+ riders and 50ish in the 45+ category. At this point in this season, everyone is going fast and the starts have become gut-wrenching exercises in pushing the internal tachometer to the redline and hoping you don't blow. For me, that delicate balancing act went awry right as I made contact with the lead group of 8. If you've never blown spectacularly, it is soul crushing as you go backwards through the field, but you just can't feel sorry for yourself. I rallied and moved back up through a few field, but my race yesterday was more an exercise in perseverance than competitiveness.
Jeff got to battle it out at the head of affairs in the 45+ race, ultimately finishing 2nd. Sonni D, Faster Pastor, Bob Pugh, and Cecilio all had strong finishes, while the Ghost Faced Killah rolled a tubular, ran to the pits (a long way from his crash) and finished the race. Sam Dyer threw down for the Luna Future Stars team, putting a smack down on all comers in the kid's race. Good job Sam!
Thanks to our friends Jess and Shannon, we had a great meal and warm digs to crash in for the night. We went to the Chocolate Lounge in downtown Asheville for some dessert after a great meal at their home. If you have any type of chocolate addiction, you might want to avoid the Chocolate Lounge. I found what may be the perfect food stuff: The Highland Stout Chocolate Cake. These secret spy photos, smuggled out at great personal risk, confirm the existence of this wonder food. If this technology progresses to add coffee into the mix of chocolate and beer, I may have no need of other food ever again. I may also need to ride my bike way more to avoid gaining 1000 lbs.
Here's to another day of racing. See you on the line!