2014 DCCX Cyclocross Race - Rob Russell
4th Nov 2014 Posted in: Blog , Events , Featured , Race Reports , Uncategorized Comments Off
2014 DCCX Cyclocross Race – Rob Russell

Rob off to a hectic start in the Masters 1/2/3 race

It was a glorious day at DCCX with cool temps, bright sunshine, a great crowd, and cold beer waiting at the finish.  I was really looking forward to this race because I rolled a tubeless tire on an off-camber rooted turn last year.  I wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice so I got myself a set of tubulars before this season.  I need every advantage I can get in the very strong masters 1/2/3 field and the tubies help me take advantage of my strengths – handling and cornering.

Jerry Hadley of Rogue Velo Racing flight-testing his Racedots #keepingitfun

Same rider, different lap. He caught air every lap and was almost on the podium!

I’d only done 1 race prior to DCCX and although I finished strong, my starting position in DC was 27th in a field of 35, not ideal with such a strong field.  After a good warmup and just one practice lap, I rolled to the line.  The start was pretty clean, a little slow around the first couple turns, but I managed to move up a few spots.  The field quickly spread out and I settled in for 45 minutes of pain.  My goal was to be clean, make up time in the corners, and be patient as I slowly made up time on the guys in front of me.

Rob picked up speed each lap, the new tires must be helping

Rob was sporting his team issue Racedots

At the sharp end of the race Marc Gwadz was flying over the barriers

At one point Rob was in no-mans land but Ken Bell closed the gap and the race heated up!

Representing Sram, Quarq and Zipp was Mark Monnett

Mark chasing the leaders

Like most cross races, every corner had a big impact on lap times and everything I did was at the limit.  The limit of traction on every corner and the limit of how hard your body can work for 45-50 minutes.  I didn’t even bother to look at my heart rate, knowing I was at 90%+.  At times, I felt both tires wanting to break loose.  Only once, with 2 riders on my wheel, did I lose rear traction just for an instant and they got by.  That’s all it takes to lose 5-10 seconds.

A fantastic battle developed between Rob and Ken Bell of Rocktown Bikes

Every corner was critical

Ken looking for an inside line

Despite losing a couple spots on the one mistake, I managed to claw my way to 19th.  For all the work, it felt like it should have been better, but racing as a cat 3 with 1’s and 2’s is tough.

Rob manages to find some fun amidst the pain and catch some air

The racing was clean and I had some great 1 on 1 battles along the way.  It hurt like hell, but having teammates and friends out there yelling made a huge difference, as did the thought of a cold beer as a reward.

Helping with traffic control, Larry Miller

Marc Gwadz reflects on years of good weather at DCCX

Mike Davis is happy to only be watching the suffering

Rob Russell is bested by Ken Bell in the end

Both guys were totally spent

All’s well that ends well

PARTING SHOT – the Ying and Yang of cyclocross. Thom Moore and Mark Stahl

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