OK- I'm on the line, had a good warm up and I'm feeling it..........30sec yells the man! Whooaahh I feel an adrenaline rush and taking note that it feels good. 15sec yells the man.......ahhh whoooo I'm super pumped and ready to unleash to the point of shaking. 100m pave to the dirt I get a OK start but not the lead like last time I raced it. I'm sucking dust and loosing visual on the trail its so dusty. about a 1/4mi climb to a hike a bike 30' to a flat section of fire road to some sweet single track in the trees. Oh did I mention is about 80 at the line and 90+ by the time we are done. I had my water carrier half frozen the night before and had cold fluid most the race. 3 lap race (30miles) the first 2 laps was all about loosening up and catching and dropping riders. I shose a semi slick rear tire and found myself having to not use the rear brake cause everytime I would barely touch the brake the rear end would slide out and cause me to loose control over and over again on the first lap. I was constantly on the gas pedals charging and never feeling like I was slowing. Until I entered this tight loose rutty switchback steep descent section. I was trying to hold some guy off and over shot a turn and flew over the bars onto my feet? was able to get back to bike and not loose my position. The last 30 mins a rider from another age group (younger I might add!) passed me on the hardest climb of the race I was walking he was riding. I rode it on the first lap and half way on the second and third but the energy it would take wasn't worth it(I'd say it was 25% for 50m loose dirt) anyway, I keep him in check to use as a motivator to keep the pressure on to the finish. I end up passing him once over the top on a flatter section as he was recovering and drinking out of a bottle. on the last climb 15% for 1/4mi he passes me half way up but I keep him in striking distance and passed him going over the top into a super fun triple down up section that's super technical and fun fun fun. Never saw that guy after that!
continued to catch and drop people from other age groups I assume all the way to the line.
3rd place finish time of 2:29:36 My age group was the fastest expert race with the most competitors that day. This was super motivating for me since I have been struggling every since my crash right before the beginning of the season. What Ivrealized is since I never got to push into and through my peak I find myself missing the last 10% of high end effort it takes to win. I have a few more races coming San Ardo in 2 weeks and Mammoth XC Mtn race in 4 weeks. I'm hoping to race myself into a top 3 placing at Mammoth.
I'm feeling good again and I know my limitations.