Tuesday, December 14, 2010 at 7:14PM
Mud and snow!!!!
US Cyclocross National Championships
Written by: Platinum Performance rider, Bobby Langin Sr.
I was hoping for conditions that were dry, dusty, and hot; what I got was wet, muddy, and cold. Not to worry, however, as this was going to be an “experience” and I was determined to enjoy it as much as one could.
Platinum Performance fielded two riders at this year’s US Cyclocross National Championships; Scott McClave riding in the Elite 1/2/3 event while Bobby Langin Sr. went out with the 50-54 Masters.
Saturday, December 11, 2010. 08:30 AM
After doing relatively well in 2009 I was fortunate enough to get the second call up and not have to worry much about needing to get through traffic on that first critical lap. A good friend of mine, and icon of the sport, Steve “Cosmic” Miller gave me an unbelievable amount of support. He let me use his Easy-Up to park in after my warm up laps; washed my bike with his pressure washer and allowed me to change into a dry kit and stay warm in his van until just before staging. Being warm those extra few minutes turned out to be soooo helpful as in just a little under an hour away, I’d be colder than I’ve ever been.
At the whistle, I got a good jump into the start straight and being so cold, was sprinting in an attempt to get warmer and was in front of the large group. Just over half way down the asphalt start Steve Tilford came up and immediately over on me, YIKES! He did, however, show up to the Andreas Knickman charity ride this past year so we’ll give him a pass on this transgression. I hung on to Tilly for most of the first lap and then he started hammering me and subsequently put in a nice gap.
Just after Tilford started gapping me, I noticed my front tire lost air and thus needed a bike change. My exchange happened early in lap 2 and was nearly flawless with Linda catching and Bobby Jr. giving me the backup only losing one position in the process and got that place back within the next lap. Shortly thereafter I made a mistake on a tricky section and had to dismount and attempt to get the freezing blocks of ice (that used to be my feet) back into the now mud-filled pedals allowing Rich Cramer to get by. A pal let me know that Kevin Hines was coming up fast and in my haste, I hit the ground hard just before the barriers. Fortunately my body was so cold it didn’t hurt at all but did cost me a little time and Kevin caught and passed me within the next half a lap. The next lap or two I pretty much forget as the delirium set in.
I finished fourth and hightailed it to my condo quickly without stopping to talk to anyone. I then felt some of the worst pain I’ve ever experienced thawing out in a lukewarm bathtub nearly vomiting in the process. After an hour thaw, I felt much better and was ready to take a nip of Rumpleminz (okay, it was more like pounding a 10-oz hit off the Rumpleminz followed by a beer or two) and head on back to the course to root on my pals…and by “root” I mean heckle as the Rumpleminz had done its job. Waaahoooo!
Anyway, I struggled to a fourth place finish but have no regrets. Certainly I like to win and worked hard in preparation to do so but came up short nonetheless. That said, the spectacle that is a ‘cross national is really something to behold; the tougher the conditions, the harder the effort, the more the experience rewards the participant. With that in mind, I look forward to Madison Wisconsin for next year’s event. As Madison WI is his home town, I’m sure our very own Steve Bertrand will be there too. Let’s do this Stevie B!
Steve Tilford 1st
Kevin Hines 2nd
Rich Cramer 3rd
Bobby Langin Sr. 4th
Thomas Price 5th
Scott “Greenman” McClave 104th