The venue for this installment of this year's event was moved Lake Sammamish State Park. Starcrossed is a big time UCI event and riders from all over the world make the trek to compete. Field sized are usually double or triple to what we have on typical weekend races and the fans come out in drones. We have a race at the park every year so I kind of knew what was in store. Rain seems to always make a showing at this event. Last year it was hot and sunny all day but by the time the pros entered the arena it started pouring. This year it looked like it might hold off until after all the races were finished.
Jonathan Page, fresh off his race at Cross Vegas put on a little clinic the night before the race. Since I live so close to the park I decided to ride down and check it out. Not only did he give out some good pointers but I also got to take about five laps on the course which was super helpful. It was quite a change from last years course at this venue. It was a lot less technical and we had a fly-over setup just past the barriers. The two frickin' beach sections were still in play....I hate running on sand. The grass sections were hard pan and super fast. It was going to be another "roadie" type course.
I decided to head down at 8:30 so I could get a good place to park the RV and setup our tent. The first race wasn't until 11:45 but the lot was already buzzing. Many teams and vendors were already setup. This was going to be big. I had plenty of time to setup and catch up with friends before warming up.
It was finally my turn to race. We had 75 in our field and somehow I was lucky enough to get a 2nd row draw. Last year I was in the 2nd to last row. I looked around and realized there were tons of guys I didn't know. I saw the normal crew of Washington riders but there were also a lot of guys from Portland and British Columbia in the mix. There was even a guy from New Hampshire here. This was going to be intense.
The single speed field took off and we were sent off only 30 seconds later.
The whole thing only took a few seconds but it was enough time for Cal (Motofish), Mark(Team-Type1), Mike(Jack's), and Robert T. managed to get by me as I gathered myself and started to run. No problem. They were all lined up and I was able to get right on Cal's wheel. I didn't want to make another mistake so I planned to just sit there until we hit the paved section and then I give it full gas and try to regain my place before we hit the woods again. We rode by the pits and I heard my teammate Vern yelling at me that this was it and to get around these guys now. WHAT?? I did not see the lap board and based on my Garmin I thought we had one more lap. Now all of them were gunning it. I came across the line thought I was still near the top five...NOT. No one knew how they did and it turned out there were three other guys in front of Brian. I ended up 11th. I made a stupid bike handling mistake and a big mental mistake but that is how CX goes. We had 75 guys in our field and I was totally happy with 11th.
Watching the Pros race was nothing less than incredible!!