Wednesday, November 5

Horses, Golf, Sarah Palin, Oh yeah and some 'cross

If you're confused, all these things happened in Kentucky:

The Kentucky Derby is obviously happening in, where else?, Kentucky, but they are so into it that they feature horse racing NIGHTLY on the local news, along with the World Series, NFL, etc.
JoJo made some friends while out on the road:

Also, the Ryder Cup just happened in Louisville. I don't follow golf much, but after seeing JoJo's dad get all riled up for it, I figured it was a big deal. He was CHEERING for golf: "Go! Go! Aw shit! No, more to the left!"

Sarah Palin had a rally a few blocks down from the KOA that we stayed at. It was at 7pm, so we got the hell out of Dodge by noon.

Louisville, KY (debatable pronunciation, see below) was also the first stop of three on the US Grand Prix of Cyclocross. We would be racing at an old golf course down by the river, no elevation gain to be seen anywhere. JoJo raced this venue last year, but I missed it due to a fresh break on my collarbone. Plus I've never been to Kentucky before. New state, new venue, new courses, new series, I was excited!

As it was on a golf course, the race course featured a lot of grass, some narrow (golf cart width) paved paths, and plenty of sand pits (old sand traps). The crowd was surprisingly loud, and they were particularly raucous out near the biggest sand trap. Pretty wicked to have some rabid fans where you least expect.

Of course, EVERYONE was there, so the fields were stacked in both the mens and womens races. We also had some Cal Giant teammates out there with us: Rachel Lloyd and Meredith Miller. When we all went to get dinner, I felt like I was at Ladies Night. No complaints. JoJo and Meredith were very evenly matched: Meredith is super-strong on the road, but is trying out CX for the first time and thought the course rated as "very gnarly." JoJo is super experienced at this whole cyclocross thing, but really shines in knee-deep mud and the most extreme conditions. She thought the course was super tame. It's all a matter of perspective, I guess. They ended up in about the same places both days: 12th (MM) and 13th (JJM) on Saturday, and 13th (JJM) and 14th (MM) on Sunday. Rachel beamed down from some other planet and went on the WARPATH, taking home 2nd and 3rd over the weekend. She had to battle the bruisers from Luna Chix, and took it to them both days. Killer!

I didn't fare too well, since the course was so tactical and played out like a road race. Except there's a draft on the road. Here, it felt like you were climbing a steep hill the whole time, and then you hit another sand pit. I was trying to go with big moves, but just didn't have the legs. While everyone else is super-peaked for this weekend, it was just one in a long line of races for me. The back half of the season is what I'm shooting for, so I'm OK with getting 10th and 8th. On the plus side, I did (finally!) get a front row callup, and hole-shot the field both days at the start. Eveyone gets a moment of glory right?? Mine was for 250 meters, but I put a couple bike lengths into everyone else.

After the racing, we (the whole Cal Giant contingent) went out with the Brothers Anthony (Silas and Jesse) and got some dinner on and some party on. Rebecca Wellons had a JRA crash while warming up on Saturday, and was trying to kill the pain with 150-year-old bourbon. Seemed to do the trick. We had some good times, went to bed late, and called it good.

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