The Capital Cross Classic, held under cloudy skies on Sunday December 4th, 2016 at Lake Fairfax in Reston, was the final race in the MABRA Super 8 cross series. This year's course was different than in past years and unlike past years there was no mud or snow. It was a fast hard course with pavement, gravel, a ridable stair run-up, and some really fun chicanes and drops.
I hadn't preregistered, so I had the last start number. However, thanks to a no-show, the promoter gave me a spot on the second row.
The start was uphill on tarmac and then grass, into a series of sharp turns before a fast paced downhill. By the first turn I was up into 5th, and then torched the downhill to slot into second on Curtis Southern's wheel. That's where I stayed for the first two laps. I attacked in the third lap and lead for most of that lap, but I was just pulling Curtis around the course. He attacked up the long inclines, putting the power down. Eventually, he got away at the top of one of the climbs when I was maxed out.
The Fresh Capital Cross 55+ Podium for 2016
I was recovering when a guy I'd never seen before went by fast. I thought he was in the 45+ race, but then I realized his number made him a 55+ rider. I tried to catch up but he was flying. I could see he was gaining on Curtis and had got onto the tail of the same 45+ group Curtis was in. And then suddenly on the last lap the gap to Curtis was way down and I was closing fast. He got going and held the gap, but i couldn't see the other guy who had passed me. At the finish, it was the other guy, Curtis and me. I'd pushed hard the whole race and couldn't have gone much harder. Third place, but I was psyched because I held onto the points lead by three points to become the series winner!
It turns out Curtis had dropped his chain and the group of 45+ riders (and one 55+) slipped by. Curtis didn't even realize he was second and not first until the podium presentation. The winner was Thomas Richeson from Montpelier, VA, doing his first MABRA series race. Well, he helped me out.
Ryan McKinney schooled almost everyone in his race, taking second in the 35+ race. Great to see him out there racing and promoting his junior race camp.