Friday, May 23, 2008
National Race Report
Wow! What a race! I am really glad that I pre-rode on Saturday in the heat as I think that it helped my body adjust...or ready itself for the hell I was about to put it through! After a rough nights sleep on the hard farmland, I awoke to cool air and a touch of fog. I new that it would get hot quick but I just couldn't decide on what jersey to wear? I definatley made the right choice with the short sleeve.
We lined up with a fairly large group and a lot of the usual suspects. There are some real powerhouses in the 35+ clydesdale class that are really fast and I even notoced some new guys to! We started at about 817 am and it had heated up quickly! We were off at a really quick pace so I tried to jump on to the front group as best as I could. I held on pretty well for the first climb even passing a few guys! Legs felt good but I knew I had a long way to go. The had us do this weird quarter lap twice. It included the hardest climb of the course so the second time up I backed off a touch so I wouldn't blow up! I continues to pass slower riders and then I hit the descent! I just let go of the brake and flew down the hill! When we rounded the corner by the dual slolom course to start the next climb, I found myself staring directly into the hot sun! I was sweating so much that I gave my bike below a bath! It was SOOO hot! I settled into a pace and started sucking down the liquids!
I really felt this climb as it felt like every rotation of the pedals I got closer to the sun! Soon I was at the top and really just blasted down the hill! I knew the corners to slow for from the pre-ride the day before and I was really able to open up some gaps on the guys behind me. As I rounded the landfill and started that climb I realized that there was two guys from my class right ahead. This is a rolling climb with 3 levels before it tops out and drops into the valley back towards the finish. I got close to the two guys and waited until the third roller to make my attack. As we approached I stood up and hit the turbo as I climbed! I blew past them and I think caught them by complete surprise. Knowing that I had a big downhill for recovery...I was pretty much going at 170 percent! At the bottom of the descent I looked back and saw no one! The next section of single-track is hard as it's slightly up-hill and a little technical. I kept my effort at about 130 percent and was able to put more time into the guys! As I hit the next short and steep climb I had to dial it way back! Once over that it was another fast descent that leads you to the last climb.
Right at the begining of this monster...I saw an angel! There was a man with a cooler and bottles of ice cold water! He sceamed as I approached asking if I wanted it dumped down my back? I screamed back that I wanted it on my head! He warned me that it was ice cold and I told him that I didn't care! Just dump away! That was SO WHAT I NEEDED to get up this hill! As I was about 1/2 way up I kept feeling as there were people closing on me and I tried to push as hard as I could! Once to the top (totally blown) I got ready for the last descent. I caught two more guys on the way down and found a way around them! Once at the bottom it was 2 miles at a 1 percent grade to the finish! I dropped through the creekbed and hammered it the last 1k to the finish!
Not only did I win my class...I beat EVERYONE that I started with! I can't tell you how much this win stokes me! Though XC racing is a total blast, my focus is longer endurance events. Winning XC is like butter on a warm muffin!
PS: this was once again typed on my blackberry during lunch...please forgive any spelling errors!