By Mark McConnell (Synergy Racing)
On Sunday, I rode the first half of the race in the top ten, letting others deliver the early punches. I took advantage whenever possible to gain a spot or two in the staircase and barriers. I put a dig off the front with a lap to go shortly after the bell. When I saw I had a gap, I rolled it. At that point, the top six were still very close and it changed from a dynamic pack race to an individual time trial from hell.
Coming into the BMX track on the final lap I had one racer left to worry about. I could feel him breathing down my neck and he attempted to pass my inside around a banked corner, elbow to elbow. Shit was gettin’ real. I held him off and hammered like all hell through the remaining berms.
Entering the final straight I had established a small gap, but after Saturday night’s dramatic finishing pip at the line from an early celebrator, I wanted no such thing to even have a shot at happening to myself. I drilled it to the line, threw up the hands and started laughing.
I’m bike messenger in Calgary, AB, Canada and race for a local amateur club team. If you had told me I was going to fly to L.A. this weekend and win a UCI cross race, I would have laughed. And that’s just what I did when I crossed the line. Bicycle racing – it’s a funny thing, you know? This is my second year racing Elite Men’s CX and third year of racing bikes. I’m hoping to see the top step and drink the bubbly stuff more often. Thanks L.A. for a good time!