Well it took all season, and on the last race of the series, but I feel like Im finally starting to get everything figured out. I think Trevor and I are finally starting to get my nutrition figured out as this is the first race where I didn’t have to try to shake off cramps! I drove up that morning and had plenty of time to register and hangout with Dave and Tammy. Got in my warmup on the way to start and headed to the line really ready, for once, to throw down.
Im not the most aggressive at starts, and this was one of the most odd starts Ive had. Once you go its pretty much uphill for the next 30+ minutes, I had planned with Trevor for this race to go all in for the first 20 minutes or so and if I blew up ohh well! At the start Marco took off and I found myself right behind him next to Ty, which I thought was super odd for me. I decided to sit in with Ty for a while and not chase down Marco, as I figured he knows the course better than me and may just be saving it for a solid attack.
I was feeling pretty good so I pulled away and road solo reeling in other riders that started before us, I started to sit in and slow down a little when Ty caught back up to me right after the first single track downhill. Was still feeling pretty solid so I put in some more hard efforts up the next single track climb and continued to reel in more riders. I got onto a good group of pro riders to take turns pulling on the flats and fire roads until the final super fun decent to the finish.
One huge bummer about this race is that the sport and beginner riders who do the shorter course are finishing on the last 5 miles of singletrack at the same time that all the Cat 1 and Pro riders are. It really makes for some hard passing opportunities and bottlenecks. I jumped in front of the other guys I was riding with before the downhill as I didn’t want to take any chances of having someone come up on me in the last few minutes. There was only a little bit of carnage as one guy I had just passed tire exploded and he went tumbling end over end. I started to slow down and another rider behind me yelled that he was OK and to keep rolling.
Ended up finishing first in my age group, and had the second fastest Cat 1 time of the day. Stoked to finally race to my full potential, and am looking forward to next year. In the meantime its all about fun rides with friends, and trying to get in a little more surfing!