My first Cat 1 Race! Rode in the Pro/Expert division on the truly historic course which was the Home of the Mountain Biking Olympics in 1996.
I got 6th today and qualified for the Mountain Biking Nationals that will take place in Pennsylvania this summer and that was my only goal after a really good performance in Xterra Southeast Championships yesterday in Pelham, Al, where they have the Bump and Grind race in 2 weeks.
Some of my friends had their Eggbeater 11's seize up in the weather but my new Xpedo M-Force 8 Ti pedals were light and worked flawlessly. Wish I can say the same for my brake pads though :)
Now for the Write-Up:
Products used: 2013 Specialized Stumpjumper 29'er HT that Arnie helped me out with from Bike Tech with a 1x10 setup. S-works Prevail Helmet, S-works shoes, Schwalbe Racing Ralphs 2.1, 2.35 with Stan's Race Gold wheelset, Syntace handlebars and stem, ESI Grips, Xpedo M-Force 8 Ti pedals, Clif Shot Gels and Garden of Life every day of my life now - Thanks...
I barley finished my Xterra Southeast Championship event, jumped on the box, got my medal, showered under the cold watered bike hose and jumped to the car for a 3 hour trip to Georgia.
|Great Picture from |
|Thanks for the Clif Gel Pax...|
|Big High Five from Jen who finished|
just before me
|Me and Jen representing Bike Tech|
somewhere under the mud
This time around rain had to pick up even more and every single trail changed into a stream with mini standing pools of water. Now all the obstacles were under the running water that often we had to bike against. It was a challenge, but it felt good at the same time, I felt like I was riding better this lap. Two steep climbs that we had to go up on were very painful and almost never ending. This is where all the energy was being lost. I got passed at point by one of the girls but I worked my way to get my position back and never let her back close to me. This lap was the most critical because it seems like everyone started to experience some kind of bike mechanical problems. At a point I noticed Jen on the trails in front of me struggling on the uphill, apparently her pedal stopped spinning. Later on I saw many other riders having trouble and even some walking their bikes. I noticed myself my shifter would not let me go to the sometimes 3 biggest cogs and I was stunned when I was trying to make a climb and was sure I was on the biggest cog while I was pushing so hard and almost not making it to the top, because the gear would not change. This definitely didn’t help me on the final lap where I had to get up those giant hills once again. It was a struggle and I was quite glad that course had been shortened for this race from 6.75 to 4.5 miles. We didn’t race much but we raced in the brutal conditions and for me it was the first true race in such a complete mud slide and to be honest I enjoyed every minute of it. It was an amazing experience and such a challenge, and not only during this race itself but throughout the whole week, since this week was a monster. I covered 3 races in 8 days, not mentioning all the travel and work in between.
|Me, Duffy and Jen with Huge smiles after the race.|
Well we are not there yet, but feels good to think and feel that way once in a while...
And of course big thank you to all my sponsors for the amazing support!
Some nice pictures from H & H Multimedia...