Quad CX

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swawersik
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Quad CX

Post by swawersik » Sun Sep 11, 2011 3:12 pm

I made the comment to someone this morning that the first race of the year is like Christmas Morning, when you get to start opening presents to see what you get. Going with this analogy, this race was like unwrapping your first present to find that video game machine you'd really, really hoped for. Then opening it to find it's just the box for that game, stuffed full of socks and underwear.

The course the Quad guys put together was really good, and good for me, with several wide open power sections. I got a good start and was sitting in 5th place going into the sand pit, then managed to stay tacked onto the back of this front group through the woods and into the grassy area. I was thrilled that I wasn't losing speed going through turns, which is my usual kryptonite. I was still with the front group on the second time down the straight jeep road when my shifting felt odd. I looked down to see my chain had slipped off the rear derailleur's bottom pulley. I was able to pedal backwards to get it back on, but it came off again over the next bumpy section. Over the next 2-3 laps, I kept having to get the chain back in place, as it was both making pedaling harder and distracting me. I lost some places with this chain issue, but was still sitting in the top +/-15 with 2.5 laps to go when came through one of the 180 turns, stood to accelerate, and heard a giant crunching sound. I knew what the problem was, but looked down anyway to find my rear derailleur wrapped over the top of my cassette, several broken spokes, the chain sucked in behind the cassette, and a rear wheel that wouldn't turn. I had no spare bike (though I forgot about the neutral bikes in the pit), so I resigned to a DNF. Insert scream of major frustration here.

The good news: Fitness was good, handling was good, so lots of positive to take away there. Took the bike by Landry's right when the opened: no damage to the carbon in the frame, the wheel was repairable, and I had most of the spare parts that would normally slow things down, so I'll have the bike back by Monday night or Tuesday AM.

Two side notes here 1) I cannot say enough good things about Russ, the head wrench at the Westborough shop. Say what you want about some of the newer guys there, but Russ does great work and is always really great about getting things fixed ASAP. 2) It's a very good idea to have spare derailleur hangers for your bike on hand, as needing to order them can slow down repairs. I always keep at least two for my main bikes. You can order pretty much any hanger you'd ever need at derailleurhangers.com. Really, that site does exist.

I think others had better days than I - let's hear them.

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jraguin
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Re: Quad CX

Post by jraguin » Sun Sep 11, 2011 4:19 pm

Sorry to hear about your troubles. Thanks for the advice of a spare derailleur as I certainly don't have one.

Even thought I pre-reg'd, I was KOd prior to the start by a troublesome back this week. Although it feels better, I figured jumping on and off a bike and hitting bumps (especially with my lack of handling skills) would not be the best idea. So I DNS'd it.

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rusto
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Re: Quad CX

Post by rusto » Sun Sep 11, 2011 6:20 pm

Open 4's (I really should start reg'ing for the masters 45+ races, eh?):

At registration, my waiver sheet had no number stapled to it so as the guy handing my case started to look for advice about what to do, I jokingly asked for a low number. He returned and with a shrug, tore off the number attached to the sheet below mine. I assumed he knew what he was doing.

I got #109, a front row start! Sure beats row 4 where I would have been based on the race predictor (25th).

Got a good start and held my position all the way up to the fire road and that's where the attrition began. Lucky for me the field was already strung out pretty far so it took the whole 6 laps for me to drift back to finish at 26th. Always looking for silver lining, I found it when I checked last year's QuadCross results: I came in 41st then.

Turns out they swapped my number for the guy who's sheet was below mine - results showed my as 11th and him as 26th. Not wanting to screw him out of a good start position down the line, I told everyone I could (officials, scorer, QuadCross folks) about the problem.

Highlights:

- good bike handling skills due to much MTB action this summer and the Meyerson clinic
- at two separate times, two different guys dumped in front of me in the twisty section after the double barriers. I was very nimble in dodging them. BTW, that was the best laid out part of the course
- ran a Michelin Mud2 up front pumped to the low 30's and a Jet (chevron) 40psi (due to roots/rocks) in the back for the first time. Worked great.
- the smiles I got as I cheered/photographed the Pro and single speed race. Pretty much lost my voice though.
- met at least 3 online-only acquaintances in person for the first time. NECX is such a friendly community.

Best of all, my wife came out to see me race for the FIRST time, it was great hearing her voice cheering "Go Rusto!" - thanks to everyone else who urged me along as well!

Lowlights:

- fitness: I need to get more training at the level of intensity of a race.
- at the top of the last 180 after the barriers (by the corner of the clubhouse), I needed to do a tiny dab, could not get out of my pedal and flopped over like a fish.
- whacked my rear wheel on the small barrier below the run-up hard enough to knock it out of line. Had to reposition it at the top, losing a coupla places
- having to deal with knuckle dragger paint ballers who insisted on driving up the fire road INTO THE PRO RACE. Got eaten alive by the mosquitos until a couple of QuadCross marshalls finally showed up.
- Russ, MRC webmaster

#DONTRIDETHATRUSS

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Gumbo
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Re: Quad CX

Post by Gumbo » Sun Sep 11, 2011 6:44 pm

I really enjoyed my first official cross-day. Rode about 4 miles to the race and got in early enough to do a lap before the Cat 4 race. Then watched the first race followed by one more practice lap. I added a little more tire pressure after talking to Ray who pinch flatted. I stayed near the back at the start and got the feel of the race pace for a few laps and then felt good and moved past a number of racers over the final laps. Finished ahead of some others in the Cat 4 45+ group but not sure of the real standings - most everyone who saw those results was questioning them. I know I passed a guy I met at Ski Ward on the final lap but he was listed as finishing 2 spots ahead of me. It will be interesting to see what gets posted on Bikereg. The course was challenging but fun. Hardest part for me was the dismount and climb at the first hill in the woods. I never tried to ride it but later in the day most of the racers were riding it.

Stayed for the whole day and learned by watching better racers than me and had fun cheering on and meeting other MRC racers. I took a lot of picture but have not looked at any yet - I will post and send around any that come out well, I just have a basic point and shoot but it has a good rapid fire shutte so hopefully some will come out well. Burgers were cooked medium rare which I like (usually at group events they are burnt to a crisp) and the beers were cold and refreshing. I think I like going earlier in the day since I was then able to relax and enjoy the other races. Kudos to those who rode multiple events - that must make for a tough day.

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onegeardoug
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Re: Quad CX

Post by onegeardoug » Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:13 am

I pre-rode several times and deliberated about my gear. I ultimately made it slightly easier at 36:16. Hindsight, I could have gone easier still. I was on a final warm-up lap when I came out of the woods and saw everyone lined up. I bee-lined it to the start and found a hole on the front line; so I jump right in. No one complained. Only 30 seconds to the start; don't know how I mis-timed that so badly.

My goals were simple; be first over the barriers to win the beer prime...and stay away to win the race and the iPod nano. 16 pre-red'ed and I was ranked 4th. 30+ on the line, including several elites, 3's and Masters who decided to double. Maybe my goals were a bit lofty...no time to dwell on that...stick with the plan.

I had a great start, slotting into 3rd place, then quickly into 2nd before the sand. Into the woods, I passed into first before the hard right hander. I had run up the barriered hill in warm-ups, but I came into it so hot that I had no choice but to J-hop it and ride it. Surprisingly easy at high speed. I've got a 50 foot gap onto the grass and...OH YEAH...there's a 6-pack of High & Mighty with my name on it!

Matt Mayette caught me on the second lap, and I sat on his wheel around the grass, before bobbling in the sand and loosing his wheel. Chandler Delinks caught me on the third lap, and went straight by. They both started to fade a bit on the 4th lap, so I passed Matt and had Chandler in my sights. Matt brings me back though, and as the bell rings, finds his second wind and blows by me. I've been anaerobic the entire race and have nothing left to chase with. The gap opens, and all hope of 2nd is gone as I enter the woods. I let off the gas ever so slightly and finished comfortably in 3rd.

Thoughts:
-Thanks to all who stayed and cheered. It really helped. I suffered in this race.
-That course was REALLY hard on a singlespeed. Every time up the 2 hills hurt more than the last. It was here that the race was made, or lost for me. Matt was crushing me on those 2 damn hills. Not sure if it was the gearing, or he just has more power...or both.
-The tubeless bulldogs worked really well. I'm not ready to kiss my tubies goodbye...yet...but that may be a foregone conclusion.
-I had a massage on Friday night to loosen up my back, and it really helped!

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taudep
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Re: Quad CX

Post by taudep » Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:26 am

The singlespeed was the highlight of the day for me. Got to line up next to some fast riders, I have no business being next to. Was fun getting heckled by those enjoying their cold beers. I chose the 36x17 with the SRAM Ziplock hack. At some point, my gear jumped down and I had to ride in a 36x15 (HAAAAAARD). All was OK, up until this point, but once I started pushing 4 RPMs up some of the hills, I knew I was undone. I wasn't familiar with that feeling of rubber legs, and nearly collapsing when dismounting the bike. After losing Mark's Wheel a couple laps in, I threw in the towel and was riding to not get beat by Rob on his 26" MTN bike with knobbies and full suspension fork. That would of made for a bad day.

I got lapped by Chandler at the finish line and the officials didn't change the lap card, and I ended up doing an extra lap for no reason. Wow, I'm super sore today, feeling that familiar singlespeeded strain with my lats and triceps being almost as fried as my legs. Going to see how this racing-into-shape plan pans out over the next couple of weeks. I think I might actually be sorer than I was after my 8 laps at 24Hogg.

Was great seeing everyone.
I'm 20PoundSkull at cyclowhat.com.

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pierso
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Re: Quad CX

Post by pierso » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:00 am

This was my first race in the 3's. Going in I knew my fitness was nowhere near where it was at the end of last CX season, so my goal was basically to race the whole race without floating off into lala land in the middle laps, which I struggled with in the beginning of last year. In sum, I had the legs but not the lungs to go as hard as I wanted. I've got some interval work to do but think I'll get there. Within a minute or two of the finish line, Nate Morse and Chandler lapped me, relieving me from having to go another lap. I was half relieved, but half annoyed as I had been planning on it and may have left too much in the tank.

A few other thoughts: starting in the middle/back of the pack sucks. I liked the front row or 2 last year a lot better! Coming off the start, that max HR feeling-like-I-want-to-die-after-2-minutes feeling that I had been dreading all week was just as I remembered it. Now if only I could remember how to keep pedaling and recover. I had one stupid crash right after remounting after the barriers in the first lap, but otherwise rode very smooth, which I'll call a success.

No VT for me due to a friends wedding. I'm likely up for a day trip to Noreaster the next weekend if anybody else is planning on it.

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atomkin
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Re: Quad CX

Post by atomkin » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:14 am

With zero cx practice leading up to Quadcross, I was keeping my expectations low. I raced in both the Cat.3 and the SS open, and I'm not sure which was harder.

This was my first Cat.3 since upgrading at the end of last season, and it was punishing. I lined up at 43 out of 77, and that was exactly where I finished up as well (crossresults is scary). The pace was much higher than what I remember from the 4's, and I was constantly battling the guys around me. My top end isn't that great, so I would get passed on the long straightaway back stretch, and then regain position on the ride/run-up, only to be passed again on the grass after the barriers, and then regain it again on the hill. I had one minor crash in the sand pit, where PJ left me in the dust. I need to remember how to handle smoothly again. Maybe I can get some handling pointers from the crew that went to Adam's clinic. I had great last lap, and picked up a few places, gunning for Michael Brier, who John Plump yelled at me to catch. I caught on to his group right before the finishing hill, only to have the folks in front of me crash right as I was about to punch past. I narrowly avoided get caught up in it myself, but had to scrub speed to do it.

The SS race made the Cat. 3 seem pleasant. I had recovered pretty well from my first race, with the exception of my lower back, which ended up slowing me down a bit in this race. This was my first real ride on my new SS bike, and it was a blast. I went with my stock 36x16 gearing, which could have been slightly easier, but I was able to ride almost everything. I had a bad start, getting caught behind the guy in the first row who misclipped, and gave up any unrealistic sliver of hope I had of destroying myself in the first lap for the beer prime. So I went with my next more realistic goal, which was to avoid getting lapped. I went into the woods roughly 12th out 30 guys, and eventually got passed by Conor from Geekhouse, and Mark Bernard in a Zanc kit. My back was really bothering me by the 3rd lap, and I was having to stand up at times to try and stretch it out, keeping me from really gaining back much time. Everytime up the finishing hill, I kept hoping to hear that lovely bell, and actually managed to get out a gasping, "thank you!" when they did finally ring it. I really appreciated the cheering from the MRC crew in this race, it kept me working hard through this sufferfest. I finished 14/30, which I am happy with.

Observations:
-I need to work on my handling, and try to set up tubeless soon, as I can't afford to lose any time through loose sections.
-Looking at the data from both races, I averaged the same speed on my SS as I did on the geared bike.
-SS seems to play to my advantage, since you have to run a bit more. I was faster off the bike than most.
-Try to avoid getting such bad tunnel vision, that I don't acknowledge the folks cheering/heckling me on, with at least a smile.
-People would cheer for my mustache, even if I wasn't attached to it :)
Last edited by atomkin on Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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rusto
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Re: Quad CX

Post by rusto » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:50 pm

- Russ, MRC webmaster

#DONTRIDETHATRUSS

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michaelcole
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Re: Quad CX

Post by michaelcole » Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:14 pm

Love that course. Would've been fantastic if I was actually still in some kind of shape. I felt like I was actually doing okay for the first couple laps. Then started to feel like I was going backwards as half the field proceeded to go by me. So laps three and four I was starting to feel really down on myself like I was totally totally out of it and should just give up the game. But then some of the faster riders from the 45+ and 55+ fields start to pass me and I realize that some pretty fast guys had taken 4 1/2 or five laps just to make up a 1 min. or 2 min. head start on me. So now I'm feeling a little bit better about myself and I think actually starting to go a little bit faster. Still finished near the absolute bottom of 35+ field. Probably had a slower time than most everybody in the 45 and 55+ fields. But all in all I guess I can live with beating a handful of guys considering the amount of riding I've been doing
I'll be better next time.
Last edited by michaelcole on Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Gumbo
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Re: Quad CX

Post by Gumbo » Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:32 pm

For the race I took off my cadence sensor and bike computer so they would not be in an issue in some way during the race. Next race I think I will leave it all on because now I am jonesing for some data. I have no idea what my overall time was, lap time, heart rate etc. Being able to compare this kind of info from race to race should be helpful in strategizing other races and for planning training. Anyways - in most X races do you only get your standings and not a final time? Having final times would be helpful to see how far behind I was and to see how I was compared to other race categories that completed the same number of laps.

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rusto
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Re: Quad CX

Post by rusto » Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:48 pm

Gumbo wrote: Anyways - in most X races do you only get your standings and not a final time? Having final times would be helpful to see how far behind I was and to see how I was compared to other race categories that completed the same number of laps.
Since the racers were logged by hand and not video camera as they crossed the line, few times apart from the leaders or when there was a significant gap were recorded. My time was not posted although I was 10 sec behind the guy in front of me.

If JD is doing the finish line of a race, everyone will get a time, I believe.

Yes, data from races is very good to have for monitoring effort during as well as planning workouts.
- Russ, MRC webmaster

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pdebitetto
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Re: Quad CX

Post by pdebitetto » Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:34 am

Always a bride's maid........

Well, thought i had 3rd locked up but then a 35+guy fell right in front of me on the off-camber grass section on the last lap.. didn't cause me to crash but I had to stop, unclip a and move my bike to get around him. 2-sec later my competitor came right around both of us.. i caught a glimpse of his number and FREAKED OUT! chased him through the final grassy section and was making up some ground but he escaped to capture 3rd... In true master's fashion he came right over, shook my hand and we had a laugh about how he stole 3rd... so close to that damn podium but never quite been on one.... :(

Venue and course were awesome.. Hats off to the Quad guys!

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Gumbo
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Re: Quad CX

Post by Gumbo » Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:21 pm

Nice job with the website posting Russ - you and Todd posted up some great photos - mine will seem quite weak in comparison but some may enjoy them anyways. I have never posted a large grouping of photos before and wonder what you all think is the best way to do it? I see that Todd did it on facebook and Russ has his own website. Google/Picasa I guess is another option and I am sure there are other free sites. Will I need to resize all the photos are do the websites do it automatically? I was shooting rapid fire and so I think each photo is about 750 kb.

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rusto
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Re: Quad CX

Post by rusto » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:30 pm

Gumbo wrote:Nice job with the website posting Russ - you and Todd posted up some great photos - mine will seem quite weak in comparison but some may enjoy them anyways. I have never posted a large grouping of photos before and wonder what you all think is the best way to do it? I see that Todd did it on facebook and Russ has his own website. Google/Picasa I guess is another option and I am sure there are other free sites. Will I need to resize all the photos are do the websites do it automatically? I was shooting rapid fire and so I think each photo is about 750 kb.
Yeah, Facebook and Picasa will resize but only after they upload. You could save copies of the photos to a smaller size, say, 1000px along the long side, to speed the upload process.

As far as which to use, if you're on Facebook already, it's pretty easy and lots of cyclists are on. You could post them to Picasa or flickr then link to them in a FB post too. Dealer's choice.
- Russ, MRC webmaster

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Gumbo
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Re: Quad CX

Post by Gumbo » Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:39 pm

Thanks Russ - I will give it a go soon - I will probably try doing it on facebook after I cut out a lot of the bad shots.

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pace21
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Re: Quad CX

Post by pace21 » Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:53 am

What’s the statute of limitations on race reports? Life has conspired against me getting this out sooner….

I had high expectations going into this one. My season ended with a whimper last year after I upgraded to the 3’s, so I was looking to have a better showing at this year’s season opener. As late as 5 days before Quad the crossresults predictor had me at 15th or so out of around 40 prereg’ed, but since I knew a lot of my poor ranking was due to last season’s finishing whimper and looking at the names predicted to finish ahead of me I figured top 5 was my “reasonable and prudent” goal for the day. Podium was an outside possibility. By close of reg, however, the start list had ballooned to 70+, with most of the late entries being really fast guys as evidenced by my reg number of 35th out of 70. Side note -- how is it that Chandler Delinks and Nate Morse are still 3’s? In perusing the start list I came up with a “Theory of Sandbagging” and it goes like this – if the first digit of your crossresults.com point total is lower than your category, you might be a sandbagger… (It sounds better if you say it in a Jeff Foxworthy voice). For reference the top 5 guys in the Cat 3 predictor had crossresults points in the high 200’s, so I think it’s a valid theory. But I digress…

Because of the late influx of sandbaggers entrants, I downgraded my expectations to a goal of top 10, with a top 5 being a stretch goal. Starting 35th out of 70+ I knew the start would be critical. I scouted the start straight and figured if I stayed all the way right I could potentially rail the outside of the first 2 big sweeping turns in the tall grass. Whistle blew, and we’re off. My plan worked to a T, I used our newly acquired Myersonian start techniques to get clipped in and sprint, sprint, sprint all the way to the first telephone pole laden uphill. I’ll guess I passed around 20 guys and was running around 15th at the time. Held my position and maybe gained a couple in the woods, then gained a few more by riding the uphills in the woods while folks dismounted and ran.

It all came unraveled on the twisty off cambers though. Doug had a nice front row viewing position, but basically I tried to make a (much too) aggressive pass on the inside of a 180 between a rider and the stake, and said rider shut the proverbial DOOR on me. I unclipped, tried to run out of it but got tangled on my bike and took a digger with the bike flying over the top of me where it proceeded to get tangled in the course tape. I lost 15 or so spots, back to 25th or so and took a good lap to lap and a half to recover physically (and psychologically). After that it was head down and bury it, and I actually felt stronger as the race went on, where the last 2 laps were my fastest (or so says Strava). It was a gradual procession of picking off guys one by one for the rest of the race and I eventually finished 16th. There was a group of 5 or 6 that I reeled back on the last few straightaways, then sprinted through them to maybe nip 2 or 3 of them at the line. All in all it was successful and I was happy with the result. I’m confident I had a top 10 in me without the crash, but as they say -- that’s racin’

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Gumbo
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Re: Quad CX

Post by Gumbo » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:42 pm

Racers,

This is my first attempt at online sharing of photos. Hopefully the link below will get you to a webpage with Quad Cross photos. I decided not to try facebook since I don't use it much. The pictures were all taken with a basic camera with the rapid fire setting so none of them are real clear but they give a fun sense of action. I deleted the worst but left most in. Feel free to copy any you want. I think I got pix of all MRC racers except those in my race (Cat 4 masters). It looks like there is no hyperlink below so I guess you cut and paste the link into your browser. If it does not work I will try and figure it out. (actually once posted it created the link) Also - they are all in chronological order if you are looking for your race.

https://picasaweb.google.com/1013534180 ... -JKzwJK1Sg#

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pierso
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Re: Quad CX

Post by pierso » Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:15 am

Pretty amazing sequence of Chris' crash, as previously described is his tardy race report, starting with #56 in there. Love it.

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onegeardoug
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Re: Quad CX

Post by onegeardoug » Sat Sep 17, 2011 5:36 am

pace21 wrote:Side note -- how is it that Chandler Delinks and Nate Morse are still 3’s?
I can't speak for Chandler, but Nate is stuck in the 3's for a couple more years. Apparently you can't race Elites until you're actually 18. He's racing age 17. Get used to seeing him on the podium.

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