Level 1 Brian…Level 1…
Although I do believe Brian has Level “Ludicrous Speed” figured out well enough for me to feel “my brains in my feet” during the King of the Mountain climb. Can’t take credit for linking this idea to MTB, look to Phillips and the Lalonde Bro’s for that, back in June of 2008 I believe.
The start here is always fast and furious for the hole-shot, and with $100 prime waiting just over the top of the ski hill, it was on from the gun. Ronsta took the initial lead over the start climb with me in tow, giving it a very usual feel of wed. night racing at Crystal Ridge.
With Ron spun out on his new Salsa single speed I took control of the reins, wanting to make sure I lead into the climb. Everything was as planned till Matter gave an unexpected dash to the climb and closed the door a few times as I tried to pass on our way up the first 2 switch backs. I was at limit from leading out and sprinting a few times to try an pass. I had nothing to challenge Brian’s Ludicrous Cyclocross start.
That is the look of concession, with a hint of I am coming for ya…
Brian coming over the top with me in chase.
Up over the top with Darrin and Mikey in tow.
After the King of the Mountain climb Mikey Phillips pulled Darrin and I just about up to Matter and then Phillips proceeded to the ground for a little break dancing in a dusty corner. I watched for a minute entertained and then allowed him to pull back up to Darrin and Matter before we began the start/finish climb and the 1st full lap of the race.
Up the start/finish climb the pace seemed chill so I tested it a bit over the top and it hurt, but enough to keep everyone together with no attacks. Darrin led into the single-track and immediately we had a gap on Matter and Phillips. Darrin was riding exceptionally well in the dry corners and I was sliding out a bit on them with a little too much PSI in the tires, turning the tables a bit in his favor in the single-track. I took over the pace half-way through the lap and into the switchback/ski hill climb.
This was the story the rest the race, Darrin would lead into the single-track, I would take over on the climbs.
Starting the Start/Finish climb.
Hoping I am not the only one this is really, really, hurting!
Looked back at Darrin a few times during these climbs thinking…man does he look calm…man am I in for a fight…
I think we both secretly, or not so secretly, knew where we wanted to test each other and during lap two Darrin had me scared of losing his wheel in the dry tight stuff for a bit, but as soon as the ground firmed up by the river I was right back on him.
Props to Darrin on his sportsmanship, as I missed a 2 bottle hand-up coming over the start/finish climb, as I slowed to grab it he grabbed my hand up for me, respect!
On the last lap Darrin fought me pretty good to get into the single-track first, but then the pace felt a bit slower then before. Do I smell blood?
If I could avoid a sprint finish I would, so on the last lap going into the single-track before the ski hill/switchback climb I took a 2x caffeine powergel and took over the lead. I made sure to punch it every time I got a chance until I bobbled on one of the turns. Darrin matched every move in that new “HD” single-track , but I was hoping to soften him a bit before the ski hill climb.
I kept the pace pinned up the hill and then went into attack mode where it got really steep at the elite course split that takes us up to the service shack. Saw a gap opening and killed myself over the top. Descended cross eyed off the hill, and then surprisingly felt a surge in the energy level from that double latte powergel, surprised by my ability to push at this point I let my fear of Darrin’s chase drive me toward the finish as hard as I could go. In my rush I took one of the dry dusty corners a bit to fast and went down…”Oh no, oh no, all that effort for nothing…” But gap still intact I pushed on hard.
Constantine giving me a high five before the last descent, while I let down my attack mode and you see the pain beneath the surface…
Pain mode off…
Attack Mode ON!
Rode the “crazy path cut into side of ski hill not meant for human traversing descent of insanity” smooth and was able to ride up the finsh climb at a chill pace for the win!
Again, what is up with that tongue thing…it is this weird slightly involuntary thing I learned was cool a long time ago…but just looks awkward to me now.
Two podium pics because while I was on the podium this one was for…
Attack MODE BABY! Love you Kyle!
And this one is GLORY TO GOD!
People making it happen: LINDSAY GUERRA!!!, “Gma Meal” and “Jaws” rawr…rawr…rawr…,D. Slates Meister, Matt, Ronsta and all the other awesomeness in Delafield, Jerry Leair, rest my family which is way tooo big to write down…thank you all for your love and support, and I want to thank all my competitors. You guys have taught me how to race and pushed me to the level I ride at today…thank you!
Thanks for capturing all the moments seen here: Amy Dykema, Gary Frost, Melissa Kennedy, Ty/Christine, and Niki Frazier! (Besides the old school ones of Kyle)