Corner Cycle Coonamessett Eco-Cross - Men's Masters Race, 9-30, Mike Rowell
NEBC had yet another tremendous showing at the races for last Sunday’s Coonamessett Eco-Cross in Falmouth. Despite some showers on the way down and the threat of foul weather, almost all of the classes saw nothing but favorable, cool and dry conditions. In the Masters race from NEBC we had myself, Jim Burke, Wayne Cunningham, Don Seib, Bill Doonan and Rich Wolfe sprinkled amongst the nearly 50 starters.
The course was a great, ‘old-school’ New England cross course (so I am told). It featured gobs of technical turns, off camber ups and downs as well as sand, a couple run ups (which became ridable), bumpy fast downhills, twisty singletrack and even some loose crushed rock. Despite the challenge of the terrain the pace was still high. I was told that average speed was still in the 15 mph range.
The start was, well, a bit of a cluster. They had us line up on a gravel drive which narrowed a bit after the start and then opened up some for a hundred yards. It then banked left up a small rise and dipped down right and into a singletrack. I found myself toward the back going into the woods but steadily worked my way forward at every opportunity possible, while trying not to overrev and blow up. Iâ€™m finding that its a very fine line that you are walking in cross racing, between at your max and over your max. Each cross race for me so far this year has had my heartrate constantly at time trial levels for the entire race. When I say constantly, I mean the graph from the download of my stats is a literal table top. It takes a couple minutes to get to 170 something and stays there until the finish. Basically, the exact same chart as the CBTT but 2x the length in time.
Back to the race. I felt really comfortable with the technical sections given my MTB background and found I could frequently pass on the nasty stuff, like the stutter-bumped downhill into the sharp right hander to the sharp left hander up. The one issue I had during the race was that between the two days of cross racing coupled with the super technical sections Sunday, I developed two quarter sized blisters on the palm of my right hand. This made for some fun on the bumpy descents. Anyhow, in the end I wasn’t able to catch the guy Iâ€™d been chasing much of the race but I managed to finish up in 14th spot. Well out of contention but much better than the results from the previous day in Milford, NH.
Congrats to everyone and to Don Seib who is just getting back into racing (this fall) after a knee rebuild this summer and an extended hiatus of many years away from competative cycling. In his 1st cross appearance in a long time he managed to stay away from Kevin Hines of GearWorks/SpinArts (on his trip back through the pack) who has been dominating the Masters A race scene and also lapped a sizable chunk of the field. Don fought the leaders off at the finish for the right to go and do his final lap ;)
NEBC Masters Results
14 Mike ROWELL
27 Jim BURKE
30 Wayne CUNNINGHAM
36 Bill DOONAN
39 Richard Wolfe