Sunday, July 20, 2008

So close…. Ever so close

may be 'just another race' but it was still big enough to bust out white, white, white
After my call up for being #2 Expert in the country, Dave B (whom I had met a few weeks earlier at the AMBC on the July 4th weekend) took his #3 call up and we exchanged good lucks before the gun. Based on how he rode at the AMBC race and his better-at-updating-people-than-me blogging he’d done, I wanted to make sure I kept my eye on him. He reeked of top notch form for sure. That didn’t change the fact that I wanted the hole shot.

Dave B #3 and me #2, 35 sec before Work
So I took it. I simply wanted to put some sting in everybody’s legs. After a quick descent the first big climb came up and I settled into my own pace. Not wanting to blow after a lap or two, I watched the two leaders of my group climb away.
There was almost 10 solid minutes of descending, east coast style - all kinds of roots and rocks that snake down the mountain. For some reason, I seem to have a retard switch on this trail that allows me to descend like a stone. My older brother’s sage advice kept playing in my head throughout the day – brakes only slow you down. I was picking off lots of back markers so I kept pushing the downhill pace. This turned out to not be a good idea for the entire descent because I took a pretty sharp digger into some roots that gave my knee/shin/hip some witness marks.
the straight lines mask the actual squiggly trail

I’ll spare you the picture of my outer hip
After remounting, I rode fairly stupid for a little bit while I regained my composure and got my leg back working at full strength.
Starting into the meat of L3 climbing I saw P2 ahead of me and he was suffering. What was a 30 second gap at the start line had come down to 10 seconds pretty quickly. Once I passed him I never looked back. I was motoring whenever possible in the hopes that P1 would come into my sight – Nope. I crossed the line 2nd, nearly 4 minutes back. Dammit.

While it burns my ass that I didn’t quite reach my goal, I still had a fantastic race. And I still got some hardware even if it is the wrong color.

Big up to Dave B for showing that the Midwest knows how to ride a bike.

So now it’s one or two more MTB races, then heavy on the crits as training for ‘cross. Because, um, my new wheels are sweet, and Cross Vegas will be here in no time.

-the ATM

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