Monday, October 26, 2009

Hartford Cross, Victory is mine!

Some sick dudes at the line up. I had to not look at them so I wouldn't get intimidated by there carbon wheels and onesies uni suits or what ever you call them.

Lot's of rain the day before left the course muddy. A pit bike would have been nice.

Jesse, Naomi, and Will cheered me on to victory. Thanks' guys for being there!

This was the run up. Check out the guy with the single speed mountain bike. He was killing it!
It turns out that he was Salem Mazzaway. Apparently a legend mountain biker. I kept yelling at Josh Wilcox to "get that single speeder!" I guess everyone was doing the same and it got to be annoying after a while. Josh did beat him and came in third! Podium weekend for 503 Cycleworx!
Woke up this morning at 3:30 and couldn't get back to sleep so I figured I would upload some pictures on Facebook and do my blog. Now it's 5:13am and I'm debating on weather or not I should go for a run or keep writing.

I'll keep writing for now. So yes the Hartford Cross race went better then expected for me. My Mother-in-Laws Fiance Steve asked me (through Facebook) how I did it? And I would like to share what I told him.

James Harmon October 26 at 4:04am
Thanks Steve! How did I do it? I think there was a lot of factors that helped me to win.

#1 was all the training that I did during the past week. I've picked up running early in the morning for at least a half an hour and then I had 2 good days of riding over 2 hours.

#2 was that I rested well on Friday and Saturday so when I got on my bike Sunday morning I really felt like my legs were in good shape.

#3 was the course had a huge run up and since I had been running and doing practice run ups it really helped me to not "red line." I just ran up it at a comfortable pace while others around me were really huffing and puffing.

#4 was that there were some tricky sections that only mtbing can give you the skills to make it through. When I talked to the guy that got second place after the race he told me that every time I hopped over this log he had to dismount and run over it causing him to loose time and then he would have to push really hard to catch up.

Not that I'm pro or anything. Or that you could benefit from me telling you what I did the past week to help me win, but I think I did do some things right. I've been doing run ups in my training. Lot's of run ups. And I was hoping for all of the cross races to have a mighty run up. Hartford was the first real run up this season. And I was happy that all of my work had paid off.
The race started off in this wide parking area and narrowed to double lane pavement with a right 45 degree turn and onto the grass. I knew that I needed to get the whore shot so I wouldn't get tangled with anyone crashing on this corner. I was second onto the grass and passed him 5 seconds later. I was happy to be safe.

The first lap I was battling it out for position and was in 3rd. I was comfortably riding behind the leaders and then the leader went down on a pavement turn I assumed the lead and held that position for a while. Then I traded pulls with a few guys up to the run up and then back to the lead.
Ryan O'hara stepped it up and pulled in front of me for a bit. I barely beat him last weekend at Mansfield Hollow so I knew I couldn't drop a beat. He followed me the rest of the race. I would get a gap and then he would close it on the flat sections. Every lap was the same. I would look over my shoulder and see him turning the corner that I just went through.

The final lap rang out and I knew I had to stay on top and ware him down as much as I could before the slick steep slope of a run up. This was the final run up so I pushed it really hard. If I nailed the off camber grassy/muddy down hill I was home free. But as I was descending I ran into traffic from lapped riders. The ruttyness of the hill made it impossible to pass. You just had to pick a rut and stay in it. Isn't that ironic? I made it down without crashing and put the hammer down. Hopped the log and kept my speed up. A few more turns and I'm home free. Out onto the grass I was out of the saddle and trying to not give it all just in case Ryan had enough in him to catch me. On the last turn I clicked down a gear got out of the saddle and hammered home. I didn't see how far back Ryan was but I knew that I pulled it off. Sweet!
This weekend I'm planning to go over to NY to race at Tymor Park in NY. Cash prizes and close to home! That's what I'm talking about. I now have a few victims. Mckittrick is my nemesis. He's killing it in the Verge series. No way I could beat him at Northampton. He will be in the front row and I'll be starting in 60th place. I guess I'll have 2 days to try.


  1. Great job.
    I think your two days of rest strategy is the smart way to go.

  2. nice game face. looking at that picture of the starting line, I would definitely put money on you to win. smiles are a sign of weakness.

  3. My starts have been getting crappier and crappier. Don't be suprised if you ride out of 60th to be abreast of me inside of the first 45 seconds. Heckle as you pass.

  4. great job out there! I heard lots of positive feedback from the event.

    how did Salem do? I ride with him pretty much weekly.

    I was sick like a dog and stayed home that day.

  5. RMM, I think heckleing you would be the worst thing for me to do. I don't want to feed your fire. I do look for your jersey to keep me going. Last time it was no where in sight.

    Dougy, Thanks man! I didn't actually race with Salem but he was killing it for sure. Josh from 503 cycleworxs was right behind him for most of the race but went around him at the end. Cool guy. That's sweet that you get to ride with him so much.
    Bummer about being sick. It really throws the season off being sick because even if you are feeling better you still have junk to cough up.
    See you out there.