This last weekend was yet another Epic weekend of racing in Iowa! This was the 2nd year that I have done this race. It was by far the toughest event yet for me, but also one of the best pro fields to witness live! We started out on Friday mid morning with the Hippie Mobile picking me up in Osceola at the in-laws. The Hippie can drive! It was nice to chill in the car and wrap with Craig H. and Hippie for a few hours. A lot of nervouse energy so i talked non-stop, sorry boys.
The race venue was set up for just about any and everything you could ask for in a cross race. Run ups, climbs, gravel, swirls, and even a cool man made run up with a ramp! Randy was the first to race on Friday Nite. He started with close to 75 racers strong. Nobody who races Jingle Cross is weak! Craig and I were able to watch the start, but then had to get ready for our race. Randy was steady as usual and finished 32nd! Which was a solid performance!
My race started in the dark, it was cold and spitting snow, you would not want it any different at an Epic event! I was 3rd row, which meant there was a ton of horse power all around me. Many of the top Open racers in the region in this 70 plus field of 35 plus racers. My goal was simple, just go until i could not pedal any longer! The race started super fast, i had a great start and was able to stay with the top 15 for the majority of the 1st lap. Then I go to the descent of Mt. Krumpit! It was a twisted sheet of ice and mud! I tried riding down it, but thought it was best to run. I was able to maintain my position for the first lap and came into the finish area in the top 20. Knowing that Hoppe had started a mere 30 seconds behind me, i was starting to think that as long as he did not catch me I could hang on to a good spot. I had a solid first 3 laps and then a suddle voice from behind me on the way down mt. Krumpit, "Go JP", and around me he came! Hoppe is just a beast, my goal was to stay with him the rest of the race. I tried hard, but he was about a minute or so ahead of me at the finish. Craig was solid and finished 9th in a very stacked 45 plus field, the winner of his race, Tom Price, will most likely be this years National Champion! The results were jacked up for that night, they had me in 9th, but that was not right, I ended up 29th out of close to 70 riders. It was still a great 1st nite of racing! The post race meal at Old Chicago was great after racing that hard in the cold!
Day two started early, the Hippie had a 9:45 a.m. start, so we were up and at the venue by 8:15 a.m. Craig and I chilled and then scouted out the course. We were able to watch the Hippie start and finish his race. It was fun watching him suffer, but also amazing watching him methodically pick off riders one by one. He had another 70 plus racers and he was solid with a 31st placing! His technical skills are 2nd to none, the Hippe can handle a bike! Wish i had half of those skills.
Craig and I lined up for our race and the sun was shinining, the wind was blowing, and it was just above freezing. This meant one thing....MUD on Mt. Krumpit! The course was set up for a long run up today, which became a run up in the mud! Not my strong suite, but hey we all had to race the same course. I had another great starting position, in which the Hippie made sure that I knew how good it was and not to let it go to waste! Gotta feel the love! We had a false start due to some idiots not knowing the difference between a bell and a horn. Anyway, we started out like a rocket, the field was packed again. I was going pretty good until the run up. I knew after that first run up that I was in for a day of survival on the bike. That is what I did as i proceeded to crash 4 times on the course. I felt off the entire race and only managed a 40th placing. Not what i was hoping for, but that is bike racing!
Hoppe had another stellar day in the 45 plus race. He just seems to get faster every time he races his bike. Which is very cool! I know he caught me less than 2 laps in and finished 13th or so on the day. Once again Tom Price won his race, which my money is on him winning in Bend in two weeks!
We watched another incredible pro race, loaded up and hit the road in the Hippie mobile already talking about coming back for more in 2011! It is a well done event and if you can do it and love cyclocross racing, this is an event you should put on your wish list for 2010! Best of luck to everyone racing the state events this weekend. It will be my last race of the 2010 season on Sunday. I am thankful for such a great team and all the racing that we were able to do together in 2010! 2011 will be a new experience racing as a member of the Ethos Racing team!
Get out and ride!
View from Mt. Krumpit
The Hippy is in there somewhere
Horner, all 135lbs of him
Driscoll at the finish, Friday I think..
The man, the legend, the hippy
Good luck this weekend to anyone racing state, either MO or KS! I am going to try and hit up MO Singlespeed, but dosen't look good so far...