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2013Brevard

Brevard College Race Report & Photos

By Kip Otterness

This past weekend was the last SECCC race of the year. Located in Brevard, NC about an hour from my house, I was pretty excited. I remember bailing from some prearranged activities back in 9th grade to watch this race when the course had been just built. I arrived at the course around 11 because I had decided to restrain myself from downhill this weekend to make sure I'd stay injury free for nationals coming up. This dual slalom course was steep, muddy, and tight! Lots of 180 degree turns to scare the crap out of any rider drifting through the mud. I was definitely more concerned that the person next to me would slide out of the berm and take me out, than I was of the fact of crashing myself. As it turns out that fear turned into excitement when I got to watch the other heats. Qualifying came around I had a fairly fast run slipped a hair in one turn but nothing to cost me more than a second. This time put me in the top half of the 33 A riders but only by a small margin. Thats when brevard created one of the cheapest moves in cycling that I have ever experienced. The team covered the entire track with lime to dry the course for the bracket elimination. A dryish course was something that brevard had been riding everytime that they had practiced, but it was something no one else had ridden. This also changed the approach to racing the course. In the mud I prefer to cut corners and slide the rear until I find the side of a berm as traction. In the dry the faster technique (usually) is to pump through the berm generating speed on the exit. It was also a bit concerning because the lime has the appearance of sand so I was unsure on whether it'd slide out like sand or if it would just stick to and dry the course.

My first heat started, and I had a weird start out of the gate at racer ready I stood up to balance my bike, then realized my heel was centered on the pedal instead of the foots fulcrum. Too late... Beep Beep Beep I pedaled and pumped but was certainly not getting clean rotations or smooth pumping balance. The other racer put probably two seconds on me but I remained hopeful. The pedal incident kind of messed up my concentration. The second run I was hell bent to make up the time but approach was reckless. I didn't think about the new course conditions and kept my line into a top 180 berm planning to snipe the apex. I grabbed and locked the brake to make up for forgetting to pump through the berm and focused on sliding. Far too much brake and far too long of a skid killed my speed as I was suddenly out of line with the route through the next rollers and with barely any speed to clean them. I blindly continued the run hoping to hear my neighbor crash. No such luck as we crossed the line with the same split. I lost overall but I still had a blast racing and was injury free. I'm really looking forward to nationals this weekend and have certainly been cautious all season so I'm ready to go full speed for a few runs! Another gain from this weekend is a strategy for our road season. When it's time for the Philly crit why don't we pop open a fire hydrant near some turns. If we plan for it we can make some sweet lines and pass some riders right? It worked for brevard and they were national champs last year!

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Page last modified on October 28, 2013, at 05:57 PM