With a chilly start to the morning at 16°F and with most of ground rock hard, there were concerns among the Top Natchez Racing crew if this would become 45 minutes of torture. With sunny skies, and some good cold weather gear, riders Brian Kozicki, Bill Dick and Aaron Collins took on the fast flowy course with a 2nd place in the Men’s 35+ for Brian, and a 4th for Bill Dick in the Men’s 35+. Aaron finished out with a 7th in the Men’s Cat 3/4 race.
Race Review – Aaron Collins
Seeing the temperature indicator on the car at 16°F as I pulled in made me a little worried that I wouldn’t enjoy this. After putting on about every piece of kit I brought with me and I did some laps to warm up. The course featured some pretty fast sections and some good technical climbs, albeit that they were short and close together. There wasn’t much elevation change on this flat course, nor was there any tight turns so very little braking was required. With a southern wind, the start finish section was really fast, and with the frozen soil even faster. The sub-zero temperature made the hard packed dirt really fast, but also made some sections of course jarring. I wasn’t paying attention at the start, and suddenly the whistle was blown and the race was off. Unfortunately I was still adjusting my helmet, so they all had a 15 second head start on me. I just put the power down quick to catch up as the group would be bunched up and slow through the first few turns. I caught on the back, and used the momentum to push up to mid-pack. This was great until we hit the 3 risers, I was forced to dismount as a rider stopped at the top. I got trapped trying to climb the frozen embankment and was quickly pushed back to last. With a bit of work I made it passed a few riders and was closing in on the next group. When the gap gets to 20 seconds or more, it is hard to stay motivated but when I saw rider Chris Huseby fall off the back with 2 laps to go I figured I might be able to get him. I couldn’t quite close in him, even during a last dash sprint and missed another place by 3 seconds, but still a good day. Overall it was a great time, and the post race fire was a warm respite from the cold. Big thanks to Olivier from L’Etoile du Nord Cafe for setting this up as it was great race..THANKS!.
On Board with Brian Kozicki