Sunday, July 02, 2006

Solitude Race Report

The build to Saturdays race was pretty good, I did think i may have gone too hard Tuesday riding with Bart and Wednesday on the course with Ty and Rob, Fridays 1.5 hour Cottonbottom jaunt was not boding well, my legs were tired, i was not wanting to ride and it was hot. after Friday evening i felt better as i discovered the race started at 11 and i could sleep in. Woke up after a good nights sleep, made waffles and headed up to the Tude.

Solitude is one of my favorite courses, it is mostly singletrack, technical up and down, nowhere to hide most of the course, my buddy Scott is a patroller there winter and summer and puts hours into the trails. I won a beginner race there years ago, did well as a Sport classer and have done decent enough as an expert. The climbing helps me as well.

We got to line up directly behind the pro's as we generally pass most of the 19-29 year olds. There were 23 pro's, huge field. We left one minute after for the 900 foot climb, the first lap we go up the pavement, I'd prefer the singletrack, as it is not as steep. A few people go off the front, mostly those i don't worry about, some cause i know they will pop, a few others cause, well they are fast. Jarom Zenger was gone by the time we hit the round house, Fox was mixing it up there as well. By the time we got to the top of the climb we ha already passed the slower pro's, i was running in 4th at this point behind Chad Harris, he had a bit of a gap on me and Mark Wimmer was a bit behind me, other than that it was all strung out, on the descent i pulled Chad back a bit and by the time we started climbing Serenity singletrack i had a good feeling. Wimmer disappeared (later he was cheering me in the feed zone) Once we popped out of the single track to the round house i was very close to Chad, I kept it together and just tailed him all the way up the climb and on the descent i was braking a lot as he seemed tentative. Through the feed zone going into the 3rd lap i was on his wheel. he took a digger on an uphill switchback and i let him get back in front. Ty was coming behind us, guess he flatted. Saw Fox just ahead of us, feeling even better. Once we got to the pavement i made my mind up, got a bottle from Shannon and spun up the steep pavement, passed Lyna, then on the not so steep pavement before it its doubletrack, I attacked, hard, got a good gap and it was on. I made it over the top of the limb with a comfortable lead, started ripping the DH, keeping it smooth, made it about to the creek crossing, going through a rock garden, hit something, rode a front wheelie for a while, saw the possible injuries in my head, when, thank goodness, my momentum pushed me into the scrub oak, i hopped back on the trail and started going, uh oh, there is something wrong with my left pedal, shoe or crank, keep going Bob, The Bull Elk comes up behind me, i passed him on the steep doubletrack, and helps me realize i gotta a race to ride, so I start going a bit faster. get to the feed zone, and had caught back up to Ty, only 1/2 a lap to go, started to lose it part way in the singletrack, but kept going. Finished it out and discovered my left pedal axle had taken a hit and bent a few degrees off center.

3rd place is my best result in the Icup since evanston a few years ago. Even better was the way it was done, tactically and including a spectacular wreck and slight mechanical issues. I will never know if i could of caught Fox, I'd like to think so, but too late for that now.

I am ecstatic with this result, can you tell?

Today I headed up to DV to do more Norba recon, I think i have ridden that loop about 15 times in the last month, i hope the form stays with me.

Props to Fox on his 2nd place.

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