I’m lovin’ me some Sacto grass cross. Last weekend was the opener of the Sacramento race series. I’ve made it my focus this year. Round 1 was in Orangevale, a suburb of Sac. They brought this course in a couple years ago and I always love coming back. Lots of grass, mostly flat, sand, sun…you get it. Saturday was a toasty one. 90+ degrees and East Coast muggy. It also saw the return of Brian Finnerty to racing. A phenomenal rider who, it seems, could win any race at any time in any category. Fortunately for Sage and I he signed up for the 35+ A’s.
There was a huge crowd of racers for the lower categories, but by the time the A’s rolled up to the start it was a small showing. All the A’s go for 60 minutes, which is great training, but can be very hard. There were only 7 of us in the 35+. Sad. Very sad. A lot of the usual suspects don’t seem to be riding this year. I have yet to see Coates, Myrah, et al. Finnerty was enough though.
I got off to a great start. It seemed like everybody else was relaxing a little too much. I know George (the announcer) is a quick starter, so I was ready. It seems like the start of the race is the only time I am doing well this year. I have the hole shot in 3 or 3 races this year. Then it is all downhill. Same on Saturday. I lead for 3/4 of the first lap and I only knew it would be a matter of time before Finnerty came around me. He did and so did Sage. I had nothing. Ugh…. Then I lost 3rd place. Double ugh….
So I just spun around and tried to pick off as many people as possible. After 4 of 10 laps I began to feel the heat. Chills gave way to a slow dehydration. I did manage to get some bunny hopping practice, which I am horrible at. They had a smallish plank in the middle of a sand pit. The sand was rideable, but if you bobbled the hop you lost all momentum to get out of the sand. I only sketched out once,on the last lap, so it didn’t really matter. Finnerty won, Sage second and I was 4th. Hopefully the endurance is coming…..
Great jump off the line
Sage and I together on the first lap