Don, Jason and I were all in the same race in Whitby this weekend. The course was great with a little bit of everything. Early on there was a steep run-up followed shortly by a long, steep climb. On top of the hill there were a few long stretches of straight, flat trail (good for hammering all out). After that there was a hairy single-track descent on the edge of what seemed like a cliff with several sandy hairpin turns.
I ended up in second place after a sprint for the first corner and made a pass for the lead shortly after that. I could hear the other guys close behind as I led the first lap. On the second lap I rolled up the big hill and tried to shift into the big ring to hammer a long, flat straight. However, the dang thing wouldn't shift and two guys got by me in the straight. For the next couple of laps I followed them being careful to save up my energy for a later attack which came on the flat, fast part of the course with two and a half laps remaining. I surged, dropped the other two guys and started to really push in order to extend my lead. I was a bit reckless on the descent and ended up sliding out on a fast, sandy right hander. The bike went down but I got my foot out of the pedal in time to sort of stay up. No problem, I pushed off and got going again immediately, or would have if the chain had still been on the ring. Damn! I quickly fixed it as the second place guy came flying by, started to hammer after him and caught him just as the bell was sounding for the final lap. I stayed on him up the hill and passed on the straight at the top. However, he seemed to have gotten faster as I couldn't pull away this time. I took the last decent in a super conservative fashion knowing that if I went down the win would be gone, and held my challenger off till the end. After I finished I discovered that my wheel had shifted in my crash and that it was rubbing on my break for its whole revolution. Sheesh, no wonder the other guy seemed faster on the last lap. And so that's that. I have too many upgrade points to race M3 and upgrading my citizen's permit to M2 would cost $103 with only two races left in the season, not worth it. I'll race M2 next year for sure.
Jason and Don had a good battle as well; I'll let them tell you who won that one. In conclusion, cyclocross is pretty awesome fun with much less of the attitude than you would get on the road. I highly recommend it.