Options for Sunday were:
• Pre Ride CW for a second time in prep for the State Race the next week
• Race Down and Dirty at Warsaw
Reports of a race at CW in the AM made it an easy choice to head West to Warsaw. Plus I was itching to race.
Trails were perfect to work on handling skills while at the same time getting in a race effort workout. And the weather could not have been better.
All the experts started together, about 15 to 20 I think, down a long straight double track before the single track began. It’s hard saying where I was after we reached this point, all I know is that Rock and team mate Mark were up the trail. I wanted to get to their wheel ASAP, came close but they ended up getting out of sight leaving me with others to contest the first lap. First lap was 40 min,
Not much action on the 2nd lap, mostly riding alone trying to keep a steady pace. Came up on the open section before the new trail and saw Mark on two feet with no bike. Ended up he broke a chain which ended his day. He would have been in contention for the win had this not occurred.
I hit the new trail section and for some reason I rode this section slow and timid. I must have lost a good minute here from the previous lap. It was pathetic. I ended up getting caught and passed by 3 riders.
I make it to the finish area with one lap to go as Mark tells me his best guess is that I’m sitting 5th or 6th overall.. That is what I needed to regain focus for the final lap. At this point is where things started to come alive. I was starting to feel the course more, taking smother lines, taking more risks and saw Doug from 360 Racing at one point up the trail not too far away.
I passed an Ethos rider who was at the tail end of fixing a flat who soon caught me, passed and got a gap. Motivation kicked in high gear and I used the hill climbs to keep him in sight. We started setting a good steady pace for quite some time. This strong pace helped us close the gap on Doug from 360 Racing as we passed him just before the clearing before the new section of trail. Mark gave me an update telling me I was in 7th. I also closed the gap on Ethos rider who then decided to take a bottle from his cooler, this slight pause allowed me to move ahead of him now in 6th.
Here we go, just a bit over a mile on a section of trail that on lap two I rode like a blind squirrel. Not this time, I pushed hard, took some risks and stayed focused. Event the tight double switch back, a must clear this time, was accomplished. I did take one corner too hot and slid out but by that time I had enough of a cushion it did not matter. I came out of the woods for an uphill climb along the tower line to the finish holding my chaser off to cross 6th overall/ 4th in age group. Missed 5th overall by 20 seconds. That 5th place rider took 3rd in 40 plus field too, missed it by that much.
Hats off to the Ethos rider, you made that last lap fun and challenging right to the end.
Sorry no photos, will post if any come out on line.
Next up is the XC State Championships.
101 days till cross starts