It was a good weekend for cyclocross racing in Houston! On Saturday, there was Terra X (round 2 of the Southern Cross Series) up in The Woodlands, and Sunday was the Houston Cyclocross Challenge presented by Bike Barn! Both were complete mud-fests, which is typically what people picture in their head when they think of great CX races.
I personally thought the Houston CX Challenge was tougher because of the deep mud pits, but I can see why others thought Terra X was the more difficult of the two. It was still really muddy, but had a really killer run-up and was a bit more technical with four off-camber switchbacks, all extremely muddy.
My personal highlight from Terra X was at the end of my Men’s 4/5 race. There was a racer in his Aggie kit about 10 yards ahead of me with only 2-3 turns til the final straightaway. Being a Longhorn, I naturally had to take him on. He knew I was on his tail, and I caught up to him on the final turn, which had a small descent into the flat straight to the finish. He let out a scream to squeeze all the wattage out of his legs but I had him beat! That’s what I love about CX racing–you might not always be racing for the podium, but you’re always racing with the guy right in front of or behind you.
At the Houston CX Challenge, I was pretty much way towards the back of the Men’s 3/4 field. I knew I’d be in the back so that’s ok. One of the racers around my pace for the first 3-4 laps was also named “Allen” and he had tons of friends/family all around the course cheering him on, screaming “Go Allen!!!”. On the run up I yelled back “Hey I’m Allen too! Thanks guys!” I eventually beat him as he wore down and we had a good chuckle about it at the end. I couldn’t have finished the race without the support of Allen’s friends and family!
Here’s a few shots from the Houston CX Challenge that I took. You can find the rest on Flickr! They are mostly from the Women’s Cat 3/4 and Women’s Open races, with a few shots from the Men’s Pro123 race.