For the 5th race in the NCCX series, our intrepid warriors made their way to Durham for the Birdsong Brewing/Common Market CX crew. Here is how their day played out. Complete with photos from the weekend prior in Boone!
DAVID “KEVIN” BEVERLY ONCE RACED A SCHOOL BUS
The day started with Rufio and I passing BC on the drive up (only time I could pass BC). Getting to the race I was happy to see we were at an old “circle” track (in redneck speak). It reminded me of a simpler time in Florida where we would go out to Bithlo and watch Crash-O-Rama. Quite the spectacle with school bus figure eight racing and jet engined drag cars to burn down the buses that didn’t make it. Good times but back to the race. I went in to this race planning on going hard off the start and trying to get away from as much mayhem as possible early on. I failed. They made us line up twice since we had to clear a path for the kids race at the start/finish and my original third row position was now a fourthish row. The whistle blew, I clip in and I’m ready to go except the mass of riders swerving about bumping bars prevents me from going towards the front. First corner onto the grass infield and it was a parking lot. Good thing I’m not terrible at trackstands because that skill turned out to be useful a few times on the first lap. The dust storm that formed from the conga line in the woods was pretty great too.
Well I couldn’t get towards the front early on, but I was going to try to push hard early on trying to real in some riders before they got too far out in front. Working my way up gradually I had a fun moment when I passed three riders through the barriers. Most of the race was nothing to right home about, but like Joey said you have to have some goals during the race to make it feel like you are racing and not just riding. My goal was to catch this rider I saw when I was coming out of the off camber section who was in front of me like 10-15 seconds. Through the last singletrack section I got within 5 seconds of him and reeled him in the rest of the way in on the grass section before entering back onto the track. I sat on his wheel (this guy was an oak tree of a man great draft) until we were almost to the finish straight. I pulled out of the draft and gave the sprint everything I had. I pulled away from the oak tree, but it turns out the guy on the side of the trail that we had just passed with the dropped chain caught back up and was on my wheel and nipped me at the line. A double sprint finish which was a lot of fun to be a part of. I ended up 25th.
It was a great weekend with everyone having really strong rides. Not everyone had the best luck but we looked good while we were racing. This coming weekend should be even better.
RUFIO AND THE CRAZY COMPUTER
I don’t have a crazy computer on my bike but at one point in the race it said I hit 54mph! Woot woot … Anyway I raced Singlespeed and CAT 4/5. I got a bad start(one of my worse) in SS and worked my way up thou the pack and placed 5th. CAT 4/5 I had a way better start and jumped out third wheel and heard there was three big crashes on the first lap with one guy breaking a few ribs. The first lap there was about 10ish people off the front but the track blow people up. Got passed by one kid and took home 4th of 60 plus people.
SS 5th place and overall 4th
CAT 4/5 4th place and overall 3th
JOEY ROLLS TOP TEN
NCCX #5 had arrived! How the heck are we already five races into the season!?? And I’ve only finished 4 of them – which brings me to my Omnium standings – after gutting out a 15th place in Winston-Salem three weeks ago, which included losing a total of 4 places in the last two laps, and then managing a 12th last week on the frozen tundra of the Boone fairgrounds, I am sitting in 11th in the overall standings just one place away from a coveted call up to the front row.
This week’s course was out in Orange County near Durham; an old stock car track which I thought was really cool because Stroker Ace and Breaking Away are my all-time favorite movies so I would get to act out both. We would start on the track, do a quarter lap, and then immediately duck onto the infield for some back and forth 180 stuff and barriers before finally getting back on the track and leaving the stadium altogether to go out on the grass and single track surrounding the race track to complete a lap (which was completed when you came back into the stadium and around the track). It was a warm, dry, extremely windy day (just ask the Birdsong tent which got taken out) and the race featured some off camber hillside riding and one true run up that you went into by making a really hard left – some could ride it. I could not. The single track sections were short but they had some technical turns and lots of little roots and rocks.
In Raleigh and Winston I had been passed in the last two laps by this dude rocking an awesome handle-bar stache and downhill helmet – his codename will be Rollie Giove. He was at this race and I was determined to beat or at least stay close to him. Also, the guy I refer to as Mr. Middle of the Pack was now sitting one place ahead of me in the overall. If I could beat him again I would most likely leap frog into the top ten. I dropped him with two to go in Boone so I was hoping to get away from him again this week. But I did psyche myself out the night before the race. Just like when I get on Web MD to find out what kind of cancer I have, I got on Pre-Reg to see who registered. We had 24 guys in our race and I noted that of the 24, 20 of them had beaten me at one time or another this season (not including my DNF in the first race). I could have a bad start and end up near the back never to recover. Plus the Upper Echelon of Chris Sugar, BC Roberts and Andrew Stackhouse were in the race and they always end up on the podium along with Adam Perez who won the first two races before crashing in the 3rd race and missing Boone last week.
On to the race: We lined up on the track behind the Elite 1/2 Masters and the regular 3s. Tim staged us and Judy berated us and we were ready to rock n’ roll. I grabbed a second row starting position right behind Big Carl Pelzer – he beats me every race but last week he was right ahead of me at the finish. His power is good. I figured I’d follow him as long as I could. I was expecting a countdown but instead Judy blew the whistle with no warning and off we went. I was clipped in quickly and sprinting. It was super sketchy on the track with a mass of dudes trying to get to grass first. We hit the grass and I was probably around 10th place. On the first turn on the grass I saw BC Roberts go down and we all jammed on the brakes but he was up and off again in a split second. When we finally exited the stadium I had no idea what place I was in but Chris Sugar was right in front of me. Adam Perez immediately crashed and we all passed him and I never saw him again. I could see BC and Stackhouse getting away with a few others up front. Sugar could obviously see this as well as he put down the hammer and sped off after them. I tried to stay close but his power is incredible and he gapped me as we hit the first single track section. I came to the part of the course where you have to go up a steep hill and around a fence post and immediately back down a steep bank and I was coming back to Sugar’s wheel. As I went around the fence post someone hit my back tire with their front tire and then barged by me while going “sorry, sorry, sorry”. I was like “It’s okay man, it’s all part of the game”. It was Rollie Giove. I was like “perfect, I’ll grab this guy’s wheel and see where it takes me”.
Therein started a series of laps that were almost identical every time – Rollie’s bike handling is impeccable and he’s pretty strong so we just continued to push on lap after lap, catching Cat 3s and Elite 1/2s. I followed his every line through the single track and we would surge on the inclines to drop Cat 3s who were trying to get on with us. When we would ride through the stadium he would crush it on the track and I would try to stay tucked in on his wheel. With 3 to go we came off the track onto the infield and I looked to my left and BC/Sugar/Stackhouse were right there, just a straight away and probably 10 seconds up on us. This Rollie guy – who is really named Mark Overby – had crushed it so hard we were coming back on the leaders. I could ‘ve kissed the guy – I started to tell him we were probably in the top ten right now but I felt the dry heaves coming on. I just tried to relax and keep my food down. I made it through the next lap in the same position but at this point Mark and I had picked up two Cat 3s. Mark was leading, the two Cat 3s were next with me sitting fourth wheel. I worried one of the 3s would foul up and I would get caught behind them or Mark would surge and they wouldn’t answer. I also noticed that Andrew Stackhouse had come unglued from the lead pack and was just ahead of us. He had won Boone last week so to catch him would be great, even if he was obviously having a substandard performance.
Before the season I had told myself I probably would not be getting any podium spots like I did last year in the Masters 4 but that I needed to try to do something “special” every race: try to catch the guy right in front of you, try to drop someone and beat them, go as hard as you can on the last lap. Just something that could be considered racing and not just riding. So I decided on the last lap that I needed to try to drop and beat Overby and see if I could catch Stackhouse. As we were coming out of the single track on an uphill gravel section I sprinted as hard as I could around the two Cat 3s and Mark and was clear. They immediately came after me and I heard one of them right on my wheel. We went into the off camber section and I was going as hard as I could. I hit the run up and had a slow dismount but a good hard run up the hill. I then noticed that no one was actually behind me. They were probably 5 or 6 seconds back. I hopped on my bike and sprinted like mad. Another single track section and grass section and I could see no one behind me and Stackhouse just ahead of me. As I came off the grass onto the ramp that drops you into the track I saw Stackhouse’s helmet disappear over the edge into the stadium. I followed him in but he was probably 10 seconds ahead of me and sprinting and I had nothing left. I looked back. No one behind me. I eased up and rode across the line in 6th place. I was ecstatic. Could a podium place be possible this year?”