Patrick Andre Wins State Cx4 Championship!!
Tom Gee and I travelled back to Chattanooga, which is were the cyclocross season kicked off back in September, this weekend to compete in the 2013 Tennessee Cyclocross State Championships. Hub Endurance hosted the event and put on a great race. A rain front came through during the night and early morning making the course soft for the first few races turning into a mud-fest by the end of the day. Masters 35+ was the first race at 11:00. After a short delay Master 45+ rolled out as well. Primes were awarded for the hole-shot. I was looking for a good finish trying to keep the Master 35+ Best Area Rider for the Memphis Region, but wanting to save something for the Cx4 race at 3 pm believing I had a good chance to win it if my legs would hold out for the two races.
The race started out fast led out by Jeremy Nagoshiner riding for Cumberland Transit. The first half of the lap was the most technical utilizing some gravel sections and wooded areas with a steep treacherous muddy descent and an almost unclimbable ascent back up into the park grassy area common to all cyclocross courses. Shannon Williams, a category 2 Cumberland Transit racer, was able to smoothly navigate his way through some of the sketchiest turns pulling away which allowed him to pick his line for the rest of the race. Justin Lowe from Dover, TN was boxed in for the first part of the course but quickly made his way up into second racing aggressively. I was staying up with the leaders and able to see the race unfold; settling in and waiting to see who would fade or slide out as the course deteriorated with each lap. After the second lap it was clear barring a mechanical issue or big crash Shannon and Justin would place 1st and 2nd respectively. Chris Chotas, a Category 1 rider for the Atlanta team BMW-Litespeed, settled into third and I fourth. He was within my reach but on the last lap my drive side crank arm totally disintegrated around the pedal spindle. It felt like I had pulled my cleat right out from the bottom of my shoe! It was only later that I examined my shoe and bike and discovered what had actually happened.
Because it was Tennessee’s state championship, I was informed that I was the third place Tennesseean making the podium for the Masters 35+ even though Chris Chotas from Atlanta placed in front of me (he still took home prizes for third place.)
By Shannon Williams winning state, I was told he was awarded enough points to beat me out by 4 points for the Memphis Region Masters 35+ Best Area Rider. With my bike being unrideable and the BAR slipping away, I was somewhat discouraged even saying to Tom “It was a season of almosts.” Tom was great to point out to me that I had some good finishes this year, which was extremely encouraging. Thanks Tom.
Tom Gee had a great race in the Masters 45+ racing against John King and Dirk Pohlmann whose lap times were as fast as the Pros.
By placing 5th in the State Championship, he secured his win for Memphis Region’s Best Area Rider Masters 45+; way to represent the team Tom!
I ran into Kevin “the Freak” Freeman from Fayetteville who introduced me to cyclocross four years ago. His daughter Rachael was there competing in the Women’s 15-18 Junior race (she won it.) He suggested I race her bike for the Cx4 race. After raising the seat and riding around in the warm up area, I knew I still had a chance to compete for the Memphis Region Cx4 Best Area Rider. I was seventh going into the championship. I calculated that if I could place in the top 5, I still had a chance to win the series. So it was with this goal in mind and on a borrowed bike that was a little small for me, I was called up to the starting line at 3 o’clock for the Cx4 race. Only being a thirty minute race, it started off extremely fast putting everyone in the red. Matt Hendon, racing for Hub Endurance, won the hole-shot and was ahead for the first half lap, riding like he was there to win. By the afternoon much of the course was nearly unridable being a layer of mud. Daniel Hamilton went off the front and I found myself riding in second position after the first lap. It was then that I knew I could be the state champion. I was no longer racing for points, but the state jersey! I accelerated past Daniel shortly after the start of the second lap and he was unable to respond. One of his teammates passed him and then it was just a race for second as I continued to ride away winning the State Championship and taking home my first State Champion Jersey! Incidentally the 53 points I was awarded also secured my Memphis Region Cx4 Best Area Rider as well.
While writing this race report (checking TBRA’s website for correct names, places, and points) I noticed the official results have me winning, beating out Shannon Williams, for Memphis Region’s BAR Masters 35+ by 6 points! For the 2013 Cyclocross season I competed in 10 races, had 9 podium finishes, won Memphis Region’s Masters 35+ and Cx 4 Best Area Rider and the Tennessee State Cx4 Championship and jersey.
My son also raced. He placed 3rd in the state championship 10-14 juniors, won Memphis BAR, and placed 2nd in Nashville and Chattanooga BAR. In all he collected a bronze medal, 1st place plaque, and two 2nd place plaques. He was pretty excited. And we won the raffle for a $180 Northface waterproof gear bag.
I really appreciate the Hub City Bicycle Company/Lift Center team along with Adrian and Justin at Hub City Bicycles for making it happen.
by Patrick Andre