Jun 10, 2007

Afton Avalanche

Today was MNSCS #3 at Afton Alps. I raced sport, partially because thats the race most similar to the road races I'm doing and partially because I didn't want to waste a whole day on a race that wasn't important to me. I was pretty convinced I was sandbagging and I'd have no problem blowing past the field. Tboughts sez I'm getting cocky, she might be right.

I showed up early and got in what I thought was a good warm up. My wave started 3rd, four minutes behind the singlespeeders, thirty year olds and teenagers. The judge said 'GO!' and I wasn't ready. I couldn't clip into my pedals for the first 30 feet and was definitly the last off the line. Rookie move. I chased and was able to still make it into the singletrack second, but I was really breathing hard and realized I hadn't warmed up as well as I thought. I recovered behind first place racer and quickly passed him. My legs woke up and I was gone. Its a good feeling ten minutes into a race realizing you've won your age group. Quickly I caught slower racers from the first two waves and began passing. I was feeling great the first lap and what felt like a hundred other racers. I didn't use the little ring at all on the first lap and I felt my chances at the win were pretty good. At the start of the second lap, traffic thinned out a bit and I slowed down a little, but was still able to hold a decent pace. Other racers were getting faster and would put up chase when I passed them, so I'm pretty sure I was almost to the front of the race. At the end of the second lap and the race I was still passing people, hadn't been passed and felt pretty good that I had finished within four minutes of the leader.

The preliminary results were posted a few minutes later. I finished 7th overall, 4:30 behind the leader, who had won on a single speed, and 4:00 behind second place, who was 15 years old! I'm not sure were I could have made another 4:00 during that short a race, never mind on a singlespeed. These sport races are wacky, but maybe Tboughts was right.
(Winner Devin Curran)
Dad has this theory that I'm not a very good candidate for mountain bike races because I'm too big. I was thinking about this when I was chasing a much younger, smaller rider though the single track. I'd close on him whenever the trail was straight or uphill, but he'd zip away in the turns.


Karl: "I wish I was small"

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