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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Suburban MA and Western ME
    Posts
    1,822

    MRC Cross - Wrentham, MA

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    MRC 'Cross
    Wrentham, MA
    Sunny and cold (high 30s - low 40s)

    20 Starters

    After a few warnings about the pending Pats game on Sunday, DH, a teammate and I headed down to Wrentham via a somewhat circuitous route, but arrived without hitting traffic, and in plenty of time to warm up before racing started. Contrary to a few of the women who were racing on Sunday, I was happy to see so much of the race in a grassy field as we drove past to the parking area - I like those kinds of courses!

    The warmup lap revealed a course that suited me well - lots of tight twisty corners in the opening stretch, a set of barriers leading into the woods (which was all double track, but also bumpy), around a tree and back into the field, down a hill into a very loose 180 degree turn back up the same hill, into another field where we climbed up over a piece of ledge (this had the potential for flats getting up on, and getting back down), through more twisty, turny, grassy sections, downhill to another set of barriers, back out a straightaway to a large log (requiring a dismount by all but the most talented - and even some of them failed ;-)), across a road, through some more tight turns, and into the start/finish. I loved it!

    As I was standing on the line I suddenly heard a woman from the sidelines callout "Are you Cathy?, I'm Linda." Wavedancer had posted earlier that she was going to come to the race to see what 'cross was all about. I sent her a "description" that included my team colors (and there were 5 of us on the line in the same gear) and my bike color. Linda managed to pick me out, and we introduced ourselves before the start of the race. It was great to put a face to a fellow TE'er, and thanks to Linda and her BF for the support during the race!

    I lined up at the start alongside a woman who has been racing Elite all season, but had to get home for a commitment in the afternoon - GREAT! At the whistle, I took off, and looking at the photos, I had a pretty decent start behind Elite racer (who exploded from Go, and whom I never saw again...). I unfortunately got stuck behind a junior racer going through the turns on the first lap until she missed one and went down. Once into the woods, I was able to pass women who had passed me in the barriers. On the first run down the hill and around the 180, a rider went down, causing a bit of a jam, but I managed to swing wide enough to miss all of the traffic, passing a number of women in the process. Out into the field I heard that I was in 5th place - how did that happen???? I knew, however, that racers were close behind me. Must keep going.

    In the third lap, I made an error getting around the 180 degree turn, and got passed by two racers. I hung onto them through that lap and into the final lap, where they finally gapped me, and I finished 7th, with my teammate right on my heels. I was happy with my finish!

    There was some controversy in our race, however. When we came down to see the results, we found that one of the women had been DQ'd. It turns out that she was ahead of another racer coming into the final sprint (for 2nd and 3rd); the rider behind somehow hit the other racer's derailleur or rear wheel, and went down. There was a protest, and the officials stated that the racer that had been ahead had violated rule 106: No rider shall make an abrupt motion so as to interfere with the forward progress of another rider, either intentionally or by accident [relegation or disqualification; possible 20 days suspension if a crash results]. She didn't feel that this was correct, and a few spectators questioned the validity of the whole incident as well. It was a hard lesson for her, but we can ALL learn something from this so we don't get caught in a similar situation. The good news out of this? The officials were consistent, DQ'ing Justin Spinelli in the Elite men's race for doing the same to Mark McCormack as they sprinted for the first lap prime.

    I am taking this weekend OFF from racing, so good luck to any of you headed to RI for the Verge races. I hope to see some of you at Natz next weekend.

    SheFly

    I am on the right at the front in this photo....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    114

    I love these reports....

    Sounds like a great course! Unlike Mudfest..... And Nice Picture!

    I guess I would be kind of annoyed about the Elite racer - Ok, maybe you have a committment and maybe you want to stay in shape for the Nat'ls, but come on.....that just seems really unsportsman-like. And I have a question about the reasoning behind the DQs - If you are in front and sprinting, then doesn't the rider behind really have an obligation to stay out of the way? After all, the person in front can't see behind him/her, so unless you just purposely swerve across into someone, it seems like that is putting a real onus on someone who doesn't really have as much control as the person behind..... Or am I misunderstanding what went on?

    Anyhow, we will be at the Nationals, but only on Friday- Hubby will be riding the Masters 55+ class and I will be playing the part of Pit Tootsie/Coach. When are you riding, Cathy?

    -Karen
    The best rides are the ones where you bite off much more than you can chew--and live through it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Suburban MA and Western ME
    Posts
    1,822

    Whew!

    I'm glad you like the reports. I was worried that no one read them, or cared .

    The issue with women's cross in the Northeast is that there are generally two choices - a 1,2,3 race or a 3,4 race. This means that someone who is a Cat 3 cross racer really has a choice of which race to do (or can choose to do both). I've already vented on this topic, so won't do more of it here (although I would have gotten an upgrade point on Sunday....).

    Maybe someone with more experience can chime in on the DQ situation. I agree that the person overtaking would seem to have the responsibility - how am I supposed to know if I "accidentally" impeded your forward progress?

    Telegirl - I will be at Natz on Friday as well, and am racing right after your hubby, at 10:30! Let me know who to look for so we can connect. Will be great to meet another TE'er! My DH isn't racing until after 2:00 pm, so I will be around most of the day. See you there!

    SheFly

    p.s.
    Anyone else planning a trip to Natz either Friday or Sunday???

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    407
    Quote Originally Posted by SheFly View Post
    There was some controversy in our race, however. When we came down to see the results, we found that one of the women had been DQ'd. It turns out that she was ahead of another racer coming into the final sprint (for 2nd and 3rd); the rider behind somehow hit the other racer's derailleur or rear wheel, and went down. There was a protest, and the officials stated that the racer that had been ahead had violated rule 106: No rider shall make an abrupt motion so as to interfere with the forward progress of another rider, either intentionally or by accident [relegation or disqualification; possible 20 days suspension if a crash results]. She didn't feel that this was correct, and a few spectators questioned the validity of the whole incident as well. It was a hard lesson for her, but we can ALL learn something from this so we don't get caught in a similar situation.
    Sounds like your officials are on top of things. We had an incident where it came down to a sprint finish and some jerk threw an elbow. The person who threw the elbow, won the sprint. A pretty good yelling match ensued and the officials did nothing.
    Just keep pedaling.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    206
    Quote Originally Posted by SheFly View Post
    The issue with women's cross in the Northeast is that there are generally two choices - a 1,2,3 race or a 3,4 race. This means that someone who is a Cat 3 cross racer really has a choice of which race to do (or can choose to do both). I've already vented on this topic, so won't do more of it here (although I would have gotten an upgrade point on Sunday....).
    The same problem is here in the Netherlands.

    We also have 4 categories
    1. Elite Women with a contract (the pro's)
    2. Elite Women without a contract
    3. Women's B
    4. Women's C

    And most (fun/well organized, like crits and classics) races are a combination of category 1,2 and 3. They need to do that to ensure that they have enough women (at least 60) at the starting line for an interesting race. Otherwise the race may not attract enough sponsorship to pay the bills. But it is a hard on the Women's B since they have to train almost as much as the elite just to be able to follow the bunch.
    My new baby for 2007

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    1,080
    The racer in the front has the right of way. Once your hip is next to the bars of the rider next to you, you're in the golden spot. However, if the rider in the front swerved or changed lines drastically, she's endangering riders behind her, thus the relegation.

 

 

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