Iola went well, not great, not bad, right in the middle of expectations, 6th overall. I forgot how to race mountain bikes and for some reason thought it was no big deal that their was a small gap opening up to the leaders at the start. I was under no distress, felt well under limit, and just thought the gap would be closed. Well reality sunk in when they disappeared within half a lap. Me, Matter, and Chris began to chase.
Lap two I dangled as the hills hit again and I was over taken by Macjei. Not sure what hurt so bad because the rest of the race I felt fine there, then again I think me and Matter were both playing it very conservative for the rest of the race. Caught back up with Macjei and we bridged to Matter and Chris, Chris immediately checked out with cramps. Macjei dropped off somewhere in lap 3, but was always a threat 10-30 seconds back. Rest of race was damage control with Matter, learned a lot following him around about how I do not conserve energy well or know how to use a full-suspension well yet. I tend to animal my way through a race instead of using the trail for its speed and efficiency. I always thought of technical ability as how fast I can corner or ride through a “tech” section, but gaining and keeping momentum is whole other area I need to focus on to keep from wasting energy.
Anyways I pulled most lap 4 and half of 5 and then said good job to Matter and he was gone. Huge props to him to show up with hardly any training and be able to pull off a podium, amazing!
I have definitely gained some ability on the flats over the winter with some added power, but my climbing has suffered a bit. The extra 7-10 or so pounds from winter lifting is coming off quickly though and I think I can maintain my power.
Feeling good lap 1
Dangling Lap 2
Hugging my water bottle as I get energized to bring’em back.
Shirpke’s are awesome! Huge THANK YOU to Jack for doing awesome hand-ups! Perfect communication and delivery!
Trying to push the pace.
It is hard to see, but the surprise on Hannah’s face is priceless…”OH YEA, this is what racing feels like.”
“Maybe I will get used to that feeling another day” :) Hannah and Lindsay did really well though considering taking so much time off from focusing on training and racing.
This week is easy rides with a little speed work on the Doc Ride on Wednesday. I actually trained right through Iola, so it was time for rest after a hard three week block, but the legs did not feel too tired, well, until Monday... I was planning on doing something at 12 hrs of Stump Farm tomorrow, we will see what the weather looks like though.
Thanks for reading,
Photo Credit: B. Nigh, Bubba, and J. Senkerik.