Report below from Aspen, Mike's is here. Awesome first day, hope Sunday goes as well. I think we'll have at least 10 people racing on Sunday all together!
Devon and I loaded up the car Friday evening with Ben and Julie from Rock Lobster to make the 5 hour drive to Michigan for the UCI double cross weekend with 5 bikes on the roof! After a quick nights sleep, we headed out early to get a few laps on the course before the racing started. With all of the recent rain and the cool evening the grass was still pretty slick. I got the morning off to a good start by hitting one of the corners a bit too fast and slamming myself into the ground as the rear tire washed out. I hit my head pretty hard and filled my shifter with mud. After finishing the lap in a bit, of a daze I fixed the shifting and tried to get my head back on straight before my race started an hour later.
Between getting everything together and trying to get a warm up in I forgot about the race before the race and showed up to the line a bit late. I ended up sneaking my way into a spot on the second row and hoped for the best. Off the line, a group of four opened up a decent gap and I was able to settle into the second pack. Soon I got into the gap and worked to catch on to the front group. About 2/3 of the way through the lap, I finally made contact with the front group. After sitting in for a bit I tried to make a move before the start finish. I wasn't able to create any separation and just ended up pulling the group around for a bit. Through the race the pack grew to as many as seven and eventually shrank back down. In the last few laps gaps started to form with a few riders getting off of the front. I ended up in a group of three others and finished in fifth. Awesome to get a result in a solid 2/3 combined field, but wish that I could have finished the race a bit stronger.
Devon got off the line in the middle of the front group with one rider opening up a small gap. She was able to bridge up to the leader with a few riders on her wheel during the first lap. Gaps were starting to form behind when Devon rolled a tire on an off camber corner and crashed, shearing her front shift lever off of the bike. After stopping again to put her chain back on, she was able to make it to the pit for a bike change. She was "super happy" to have a pit bike this year so that her race could continue. With the pit bike she never fully re-found her rhythm in the race but was able to fight back for a respectable 4th place finish.
A big thanks to Isaac for getting the A bike back into riding shape for the race tomorrow! Good luck to everyone at Jackson Park!