Saturday wrapped up cyclocross season. After a decent result in UTCX #1, my results were pretty lackluster, and "success," as it were, was limited to occasionally finishing ahead of my friends. In the last race of the season, I managed my best result of the year. In fact, my fifth place finish was my best result in a UTCX race ever.
That result was a by-product of a certain amount of luck. I was fifth into the first turn. Trying to hang with the four fast guys in front of me seemed a surefire way to guarantee an implosion, so I let them go. Peter, Seth, and I were bunched up together and took turns on the front for the first several laps until Peter decided to attack and split us up.
Finishing order probably would have been Peter, Seth, then me, except that Peter had a flat, so I passed him in the pits. Then when he caught up, I sat on his wheel and got a free ride back to Seth. On the last lap, Peter stumbled in the barriers, so I got a gap that I managed to hold to the end.
Fifth place was good enough to move me up a couple spots in the season standings from 11th to 9th (thanks in large part to a couple guys not showing up for the last race, which was double points). And I should be happy with 9th, except that 8th would have meant a callup at the first race next year. Seth got 8th, by a two point margin. The number of points I dropped when Rick beat me to the line two weeks ago? Three. Which makes Seth's comment about that race all the more poignant: "sometimes you're the hammer, sometimes you're the nail."
I am already making plans for next year.