2011 Velocross Junior Team Reports

Conditions:
The day started cool and remained chilly but in the sun it was quite pleasant. That said, this time of year the sun is in short supply so for the early and late races, it got down right cool. The course had a couple of small muddy sections but was primarily dry and fast.

Course:
The 2011 edition of the Northeast Velocross course was essentially the same as that of last years race. The crew at the Northeast Velodrome has done an incredible job with the course layout, design and prep. Laps were above 5 minutes each, which was considered a minimum requirement and the course was super challenging while being wide and well marked. This was a legit cyclocross course and not really what you would call jungle cross. In thort, the course was like no other as it included not only a portion of the track but also the BMX course. This made for a brutally hard and fun race. Lots of twists, lots of turns, steep ups and power sections made for little respite anywhere on the course.

Results:

bikereg.com Velocross Race Results

 

Reports:

Below are the NEBC Junior Development Team Race Reports for the NEBC promoted Northeast Velocross cyclocross race.

Noah Epstein
This was my first time doing multiple races in one day. I figured that it would be cool to do the Mens 4 race and Singlespeed, because this was the NEBC cross race, I was going to be around all day anyway, and because, well, why not?

I got to the velodrome a little bit late – I slept through my alarm – but I quickly registered and got out on the course. I knew it would be a truly unique venue before I got there. After all, what cross course has a velodrome, grass, singletrack, and a pump track? It was really cool. So, I got out on the course for a few warm-up laps. I took mental notes of the good lines and the sketchy corners, then I played around in the pump track a little bit. I also took note of a killer run-up. (Killer in the sense that I would feel like dying after running it during the race!)

Feeling warmed up and ready, it was off to the start for the Cat 4’s race. I was very excited to get front row (NEBC riders got front row at the NEBC race, of course) because all of my previous races have had me starting from the back – my crossresults points hadn’t really gotten high enough yet, even though I was moving up in every race. I had the inside line and when we started I sprinted and got the holeshot! All the sudden I find myself leading the race and everything that I had tried to remember before the race seemed to shut down! I wasn’t really sure what to do at this point: go fast, I guess? It was downhill from there though – the fast seemed to escape from my legs and the anaerobic haze started to take over. By the time we were going down into the woods I had been passed by two riders, then another, with more to come. I was taking the awkward lines that I had told myself not to take through the woods. When I got to the pump track the part of my brain that says “stand up and pump!” seemed to have been switched off. Instead I half-sat stiffly over the rollers, my legs telling me that standing up wasn’t a good idea. It wasn’t until the end of the race that my “go fast” circuits turned on again and I made up a few spots, though I had drifted back far enough to still be out of the top ten – I finished 12th, to be precise. Not quite the result I was looking for considering how good my legs felt at the beginning, but it was a learning experience. I went out a little too hard and I didn’t really prepare well. I hadn’t drank enough before the race and I felt it during.

The second race of the day had my legs feeling a lot better, though it didn’t necessarily show in the results. It was cool to start front row again, but this time I wasn’t really expecting my legs to be so good with a race already in them so I didn’t start too aggressively. I was much more relaxed too, starting on the line with a bunch of NEBC guys. It was a strange starting sprint when I remembered that I couldn’t change gears – I could only pedal faster! I came into the infield from the track about 9th or 10th back from the leader and passed a few guys over the first set of barriers. All the dismount/remount practice I’ve been doing is definitely paying off there. Through one of the muddy corners I tried to take the line I had been taking earlier to find that it was gone and I got completely bogged down, getting passed by a bunch of people who were taking the better line. I tried to settle in at that point and hold my position. I ended up doing just that. I focused on my cornering in the woods and on flowing a little more smoothly through the pump track. I was definitely happy with how I could make  up tons of distance on guys in front of me though the pump track without even pedaling, though I could never seem to gain position through it. Every time we would get back to the velodrome, the only real power section (and my strong area, translating from road experience) I would lose some ground because I was spinning out. I ended up yo-yoing off the guys in front of me for the rest of the race, eventually finishing 13th. It was a lot of fun and my first time racing (and riding, actually) a singlespeed bike.

I’m incredibly proud to be part of an organization that can put on such a good, fun race. (And thanks to Lester’s BBQ for the pulled pork sandwich! Yum!)

Emil Baungaard
I woke up at 6 to get ready to leave for Londonderry. I got there at about 8 and had plenty of time to warm up and pre ride the course. After presiding the course I was shocked how great it was because I never knew riding track and bmx combined would be so much fun ! My favorite part was the bmx course because it was really technical. The track was a lot of fun swell because it enabled me to go fast before the small part in the middle. All in all it was probably the best race of the season for me because I enjoyed the course. Thanks to NEBC and the NE Velodrome for hosting the event ! I had a great time and I’m sure everyone else did as well.

Ethan Pearl
I got tot the race about an hour and a half before my race to have plenty of time to warm up, ride the course and register. I got out on the course before the first race and got a good lap in. I liked the technical parts of the course and the bmx couse was a lot of fun. The start and the first couple turns were really fast. The barriers went pretty well but the mud slowed me down a little. The first lap went well but istarted to fall behind at the end of the lap. I held a steady pace for most of the race and went pretty hard on the last lap to try to catch the next rider but didn’t quite catch him. The course was very interesting and different, it was one of my favorite courses. The course got softer and more muddy every lap as the temp increased a lot from the start. Overall it was a good race.

Ari Appel
With my race at 10 o’clock, I arrived at the velodrome with my mom and brother at 8:00.  Earlier on, it was a chilly morning, in the low to mid 40’s and sunny.  It was considerably warmer by midday.  From the beginning, it was clear that the NEBC event was well-organized.  I had access to everything I needed, and more.  I pre-rode the course after registering and changing.  The course had a lot of turns with not much distance in between, with only one big power section, the velodrome.  It was a very cool course, including the BMX section, the velodrome, and two sets of barriers.  The openness of the velodrome area made it great for spectating.  Emil, Ethan, and I warmed up on the hill across the street, and discovered a giant mound of gravel to practice on.  We lined up at the start of the juniors race at 10.  Having the privilege to start in front as an NEBC member, I expected (too highly) to be at least top five to the hole shot.  The whistle blew, and my start didn’t go very well.  I was in the back of the pack by the first corner.  I was determined to make up ground.  After riding hard through the next section of the race, I had made up a couple of positions.  Then, I had a minor crash that put me near to last place again.  I was frustrated and demoralized and I just held my position for the rest of the race.  I ended up getting lapped.  I don’t think I was properly prepared mentally, because the inevitable problems that occur in a cross race shouldn’t have affected me as much as they did.  I took a valuable lesson from the race: Although I am starting to get comfortable with racing, I still need to have anticipation.  Also, I need to remember that races aren’t pre-decided. Just because I beat someone last week and someone else beat me doesn’t mean that is what’s going to happen again.  It’s up to me to decide how a race will go. I will make sure to remember this in the future.  Unfortunately, on Saturday I had my first “bad” race.  However, I still enjoyed the community and the fun of the NEBC race.  I’m extremely happy to be a part of NEBC.  I am very grateful for the resources and the community it provides that make it possible for me to enjoy and live the cycling life.  Thank you to everyone who organized and volunteered at Velo Cross.

Ethan Young-Kershaw
I got there around 8:00 to a cold dry morning. After I registered, My dad and me went for a pre-ride of the course,  it was very technical, especially in the woods. My favorite part of the course was the BMX track, it was very unique to the course. We only got to do one lap because the cat 4’s were about to start. Once we all found each other Ari, Ethan,Emil, and I went to go warm up. Our race was at 10:00 so that gave us about 30 minutes to warm up before we had to stage. The way staging worked is that the masters men 35+ started first then the 55+ and last was the juniors. There was a 30 seconds between each start which i liked a lot more than a mass start. It was a very fast start because we started on the Velodrome. The 40 minutes went by quickly even though it was a long course. This course was on of the most technical courses I’ve raced on. The only problem i had was with clipping into my pedals after i had to unclip in the deep mud, next time I shouldn’t unclip in a muddy section.

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