The two days of racing at Spooky Cross couldn’t have gone any differently for Chris Jones (Rapha-Focus), though it is hard to tell by just looking at the results with two top five to his credit.
On Saturday’s night race, the finale of the Cross After Dark series, Jones had a good position in the front ten but them he went down and down again throughout the race.
“I averaged a crash every ten minutes.” Jones said about his race on Saturday.”I crashed six times, five bike changes.”
With quick bike changes, he was able to chase back and finish fifth on the day.
The 32-year old had a completely different race on Sunday afternoon. “Same course but I could see. I stayed upright.” he said.
After a fast start on the dry grass in warm, sunny conditions, Jones found himself in fourth place chasing the rider ahead of him. Though he pushed hard and closed the gap, Jones had to settle for fourth.
“It’s the Euro roadie skill I guess. If I can keep it in a straight line I’m fast I guess, but if I start turning I’m not so good.” he laughed.
The course offered a lot of challenges, including a fly-over, drop-ins, ride-ups, and both the sandpit and stairs were especially tough.
“It’s going to take awhile, and my leg is still not one hundred percent. It’s one of the muscle used for running, so if fatigues at the end of the race, the stairs, the sand. I get better every day.” said Jones who suffered an injury at his last race of his road season with the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team during the Tour of Britain.
Three days later, he started but could not finish the Gateway Cross Cup, second race of the Cross After Dark Series. Jones then took some time off to heal and came back to cross for the second USGP weekend in Ft Collins.
After a successful weekend in Irvine, California, Jones flew to the Czech Republic to race the second World Cup of the year, joining his teammate Jeremy Powers.
“It’s going to be fun, it’s going to be a good experience.” said Jones who has raced in one previous World Cup in his cross career, the Pijnacker race in 2007 where he finished 40th.
“With a goal of going to the Worlds, it would be good to go over there.” Jones continued with a smile. “I’ll have a poor starting position, I have very little UCI points. It will be Powers at the front and I’ll be at the back.”