Jack & I were back in cross action this past Sunday, up to Elkridge, MD to race in the Marbra. The Marbra series is without a doubt one of the premier series happening today - always large fields, run under UCI rules, true cross courses.
I was off first for BikeWorks in the Masters 35+/45+ 3/4 (Masters B race). Not quite 100 but with 99 you can't get any closer. Late registration had me on the last row looking at a lot of bodies in front of me. Early going had me riding from one log jam to another, rider’s bottle necking every chance they had. If this had been an actual fire we all would have surely perished!! The open spaces on the course allowed me to pick them off in packs. After two of four laps (it was a long lap), the people in front of me where getting to be solo riders. Also at this time the hill (a minute & a half jaunt) was becoming less of a friend and more of a foe!! My conditioning felt strong throughout which was good news after a week & a half off the bike being sick (H1N1). Picked one more off in the last quarter of the course, Jack screaming “pass his a$$!”
Jack would provide the sparks for the 3/4 race. Again in the last row, some 70 riders seemingly facing the same obstructions I did, not with the same results (if ever in a fire with Jack, follow him out of the building). Lap one of five had Jack from the back to 25thish. Lap 2 had him leapfrogging to 15th. About this time the race announcer had noticed the “bike rack” rider who was charging the field. After a second acknowledgement of the “bike rack” rider, I noticed he was referring to Jack. A quick visit to the race commentator had him squared with the facts -- that was Jack Sparks of BikeWorks Racing from Fredericksburg Virginia you were looking at. A few more references to our boy over the loud speaker and BikeWorks Racing is now known to Marbra. It was obvious Jack had been the most aggressive rider in the race.
In the end:
Jinks – 50th Masters 3/4 (18th 45+)
Jack – 10th 3/4
In the pedals, Jinks