Last year Charlie Hayes smoked me at this race, and this year I wanted to change that. So w/ a stout 34x15, and rigid fork, I went looking for redemption, I found humbleness.
Completely wired and nervous nearly three hours out from our 11:30 start time, I had a bad feeling about how the day was going to go. And as I fed Sandi during her Pro Womens race, I could feel I forgot to pack something, fresh legs. Sandi was in a great race, four girls out front, playing road racing tactics in a flat mountain bike race w/ some strong winds to make it interesting. Sandi sat fourth position most of the race, siting the girls were excellerating off each turn, and uphill, and could not play the game. Could have fooled me! She launched a counter attack after young 17 year Tokyo Joe's sensation Cloe got away, and Sandi dropped the other two girls to take home a solid 2nd place.
Then came my race, after watching scary high heart rates during my warm up. Off the start, I grabbed the point to try and set a sensible pace, but the Junior Experts were havingnone of and animated some attacks just a few hundred meters in. Charlie Hayes followed suit, and I gave chase. Once on Charlie's wheel, I tried to settle in and draft, but my legs felt sluggish, and heartrates were off the charts, I was in trouble early. By the end of the first lap, I let Charlie go, but had a huge gap on third place Dan Burnett, so I settled in to suffer through to the end. Finishing a disappointing second, disappointing because I wanted to run w/ Charlie, I sought consolation, that even on a bad, actually a really bad day, I still finished well ahead of the rest, found some good power to push the stout gearing up steep climbs, and fought through despite my anguish.
The next day I had a stellar follow up on the road bike, climbing a 9 mile ascent w/ ease. Funny how that works, off one day, on the next. Next weekend is Angle Fire, and while it is still early in my season (@ 95% of peak right now), I am hoping to be in the mix.
Enjoy the Ride.