Snake Alley

2015 Snake Alley Race Report by Jesse Siemen
As the reigning 30+ Master’s champ at Snake Alley, I came in with pretty high hopes. I was racing with the big boys this year, but Nick was able to get us all preregistered early, so we had 2nd row starting spots. It’s crucial to start up at the front in this race. It’s like a cyclocross start where you sprint from the gun to get your position going up the Snake. Otherwise, it becomes a cluster and you lose crucial time on the lead guys.
Unfortunately, my start sucked. I got in my pedals ok, but the guy in front of me botched it. Between that and me being more timid than I should have, I didn’t do a good job of hold my position at all leading up to the Snake the first time. The first time up was crazy trying to pick a line while bouncing off other guys like a ping pong ball.
I really like the course though. A good lengthy power like with a screaming decent. Rinse and repeat.
I was slowly making up spots throughout the race, jumping from chase group to chase group. The lap counter was slowly ticking down from 20 to 10 to 6. As I was coming around for number 5, a couple guys zipped around me through the last corner like they were sprinting for the win. I was wondering what the heck they were doing at this inconsequential point in the race with 5 laps to go. As it turns out, they were notified we were getting pulled that lap. Apparently, I didn’t get the memo and coincidentally finished a couple spots out of the money.
I ended up 27th out of a big field of 100+ high caliber racers. I’ll be looking forward again to this one next year. It’s a big race that I can do well at. I’ll continue to work on those fast, frantic starts during my CX season this year.