Solitude is one of my favorite venues, that and it is hard, really hard, relentless climbs and punishing descents.
Lyna and I arrived early for her race, like 4 hours prior to my race. Lyna had a good race, coming in 2nd. She is well on her way to recovery.
Last years race, while I took 2nd, was a debacle for me, I wanted to be sure that I did not implode. So I took off, from the start, but once we came around off the gravel to the short pavement section, I let off a bit and Sam came around me. I stayed on his wheel until just a bit into the honeycomb climb. I Kept a steady pace over the top and made it to the round house service road in front. I then put in a little effort at the top of the pavement.
On the initial descent, I worked mt way around a lot of SS/19-29 and 30-39ers. Came into the lap zone with a decent gap. By the feed zone on honeycomb, the gap had opened a bit, about 2/3rds up that service road, I felt my front tire very soft, so I stopped put some air in it and Sam and Kevin passed me. I got back on, and made it maybe half way up the single track before the tire went dead again, So I started working on getting a tube in it. No dice, in hindsight, I'm certain the Big Air Froze and then broke the tube valve stem, Ken C threw me his big air too, no bueno, so I hoofed back to the base.
Unfinished Business. I won at Solitude as a beginner in 2001, since then it has been a series of close calls, Paz, Sly, Chris B. and Sam all taking me to the cleaner. I felt comfortable and strong before the flat, later in the race, while leading, Sam had a race ending flat as well. It is a part of racing and the worst part of it was the lethargic, too many calories in my system feeling I had the rest of the day.
All cylinders see to be firing for Laramie however, 18 days away.