Canton Cup CX Race Report- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Canton Cup CX Race Report

    I took the 'Cog out for a CX race this weekend. Made a few changes to it, adding a Niner carbon fork and a set of ZTR Race wheels laced to AC SS specific hubs. A 36t Salsa chainring and 18t Cogalishish cog round out the changes. She tips the scales around 22lbs now. Anyway, on to the race....

    First, a quick summary of my thoughts.

    1. That was fun, but really, over already? (28min for me to complete my race)
    2. Being willing to take unconventional lines is a good thing
    3. Mountain bike tires > CX tires when it comes to off camber turns on damp grass

    I ran the Canton Cup CX race this weekend as my first CX race. I kinda thought it would be like my mountain bike races in the Single Speed Open category. E.g., the whistle blows and the guys around me disappear in a cloud of dust. That's not what happened at all. I was lined up near the back of the pack (they line you up by number, so I had no choice, but probably would have chosen it anyhow, again expecting everyone to be way faster than me and having no desire to be "that guy" acting as a rolling road block). The whistle blew, and I waited for my row to start moving. I start riding, and I'm immediately being held up by those in front of me. I take my time and don't really push the issue anywhere, expecting things to thin out after the first turn. First turn is a down hill sweeping right hander on dry asphalt, but the guys in front of me are hitting their brakes?!?!? I'm still poking along, content to ride it out at the back of the pack and see who I can pass later. Then we get to the first really tight corner. It's a log jam, nobody can get through. The back of the pack was slow enough that I hadn't even started breathing hard yet. I ran harder during my pre ride lap. At this point I decide I'm done waiting, it's clear that the guys around me are holding me up. So I drop to the outside and pass a half dozen guys as we exit that corner. I really lay into the power and catch the pack at the next corner, again take the outside line and pass another half dozen guys. Lather rinse and repeat for the rest of the lap. After the first set of barriers (which I was able to cleanly dismount/remount for) things started to spread out a bit. It was a flat section, so I decided since I'd be spun out anyway I would use this opportunity to catch my wind and get the heart rate under control. I also tried to let a gap open up as I knew that at the end of this open section was a steep but short hill that, if the riding I'd seen up till then was any indicator, a lot of guys would be walking.

    I was right, and passed another half dozen guys as I rode up the hill around them walking their bikes. I continued pushing pretty hard, trying to keep the heart rate manageable, but still getting by other riders. I would catch up to them in the twisty stuff, than sprint to get by before the next twisty stuff. Hit the second steep but short hill and rode it as well, picking through riders that were off their bikes and pushing. Another flat section to catch my wind, some twisty stuff, then the second set of barriers. Cleaned those as well, and finished the first lap.

    I continued on like that for the next 2 laps, and towards the end I was getting re-passed by the guys that I was catching and passing. I found if I didn't want them to get by on the next straight and hold me up in the corners again I had to pass them early in a twisty section and put some distance between us. Ended up solidly at the top of the bottom third (45 or 48 out of 75'ish that completed the race) which I was pretty happy with. Just about puked crossing the finish line, so I felt like I put in a solid effort. The 36/18 gearing worked out pretty good for me, leaving me with about 3 places per lap where I was spun out and 5 places per lap where I was wishing for an easier gear. Overall it was a lot of fun, and I wished I had signed up for the 35+ race as well. I'll definitely attack at the start on the next one!

  2. #2
    CB2
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    Nice report. What tires did you run?

    In my limited CX experience my fastest races have been on a mtb with mtb tires. My worst have been o a CX bike with gears.

  3. #3
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    Thanks. I ran some 2.2 Kenda Slant6s that I mounted up tubeless.

  4. #4
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    Interesting story. I planned on doing that race but, due to the upcoming storm, I had to go into work. I race a Monocog 29er with 32x20 gearing. That's mountain bike gearing and way undergeared for cross. Because of that I'm usually near the back of the pack. I agree that racing cross on a mountain bike is fun because you'll have an advantage on certain parts of the course and a disadvantage on others. You need to base your strategy on that.
    I try to avoid sexual innuendo, but its hard.

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