by Jan Plavec
Last weekend I finally got chance to try cyclocross in my home country after two learning seasons in Canada. It was really just a try. I hardly sat on the bike in September because of all the stuff connected with starting new life in Vienna. Not mentioning that I didn’t have a cross bike at all so I was only jealously checking photos and results of my teammates in Alberta.
But this weekend we went back to my home town – Hermanuv Mestec and the same weekend there was a race happening in Kutna Hora just 50 kilometers away. Only problem to solve was where to get a bike. But I knew about one Jake the Snake lying unused right in the house. So on Sunday morning I told Lenka I was going to clean her bike at the backyard and then slipped it over the fence right into my mom’s car and off we went for cyclocross.
There are basically only two cyclocross circuits in Czech: National Cup for Elite, Juniors and Women and Master’s Cup which consists of open races for public and older licensed guys like me. That means that there are only age group categories and I was signed in masters A category in Master’s Cup. I had really mixed feelings about how this race will look like. I had no idea what the ability level of others could be not speaking about my ability with no training and the bike that is two sizes smaller. There was a real possibility that I would be humiliated by a bunch of former world’s champions. Fortunately it wasn’t so bad and I really enjoyed the race and suffer through it as usual.
I started in the back waiting what would happen. It happened that everybody took off and I had hard time to stay in touch with the last group. Soon the front of the Masters B blew around me and I started be a little nervous when Masters C would come. It was hard to say if there is anybody from my category around anymore, but it showed up that there were some guys that were obviously not former world’s champions and so it wasn’t such a lonely race for me.
Also my mother pushed me to my limits by her cheering. My heart rate went really high when she was yelling: “You are the best, my little racer” (Literally – I hope it sounds as humiliating in English as in Czech).
I finished 14th from 20 competitors and got 10 points in Masters Cup as well as right to start at nationals so maybe I should start training. Finally I wasn’t lapped (it was close though) so full success. And I got Lenka’s bike back unharmed just in time when she started looking to the backyard what I am cleaning so long.