Sunday, May 20, 2007

Skyline Park

3 laps of 8 miles @ T 2:31 4th Place in Open SS / Geoff raced Expert



I'm tired......

What a race. It's not always the case, but today, I left it all out on the course. I have been training specifically for this race in the last 2 weeks~. There were highs and lows but in the end, as always: a good time.

OK, after a meager 27 minute warm-up I lined up and got an excellent starting position on the 2nd row next to Cam. The Pro/ Expert and SS men were all in the same start wave. Looking back over my shoulder, to my surprise, was a very large group (containing Geoff).

Today was the first time doing this race and I had heard it was tough; the climb, technical sections, single track, and the fun bomber downhills. The biggest hurdle for me today was the rock garden sections and there were more than a few. I have ridden much more difficult trails but I haven't been doing any lately and so, I felt a bit low in the confidence department to just "let go the brakes" and float it.

Soon..... but not today.....

Lap 1

We're off and my plan was to que off Cam for as long as possible, as he was my pick for the win today. Ha! that didn't last to long. After the start you go directly up the climb and it was quickly breaking into groups and I held my ground in the 3rd? group up the climb. The main climb goes on for about 2 km then really gets tough (portion I didn't pre-ride). Well it's to steep for me and I'm walk-running, bike on shoulder, CX style. As I'm looking up the trail it gets worse before it's get better but at the top leads onto single-track and a whole new game.

Whoo hoo.. Great single track. The terrain reminded me of China Camp or Tam and it had pretty good flow. The course ran down into a valley then back up again along another rocky ridge before dropping back down (more single-track and rock gardens) and heading for the finish-line. Nearing the end of the first lap I knew I was in 2nd place. I hit the last rocky section and a Soul Craft rider (Keith?) came flying by. I had been trying to stay under threshold but I couldn't let him get away. Besides he was picking the pace up and on a SS. I figured he knows where he's going and I'd follow. The run in to the S/F line was fast and also had a number of water bar "logs" so, lot's of air and a bit sideways later we get on a nice little climb that stair-stepped once and went down a long gravel road. On the second part of the climb I passed Keith and focused on staying tucked (it was windy) and keeping the rpm's up. I cross the finish line and I'm still in 2nd (for now) and starting to feel pretty good.

Lap 2

Once on the climb, I looked up and could see Pat plus another guy I had been yo-yo-ing with and tried to settle into a rhythm. I managed to catch up and at the same time put time into Keith who was chasing. I focused on keeping the pace high and was feeling stellar on the second lap. The single-track was much more enjoyable knowing whats coming up. Crossing the finish line still in 2nd, I looked back and could not see anyone. I felt strong and put my head down for the final lap.

Final/ Lap 3

The last time up the main climb took a lot out of me. Loose gravel and the baking sun were taking it's toll. I managed to get up and over and recover a little. The single-track was mostly in the trees so it was a nice respite from the UV's. First rock garden and I get through OK. Second and final rock section not so good. While the first one had lots of large "square" rocks the latter had sharp jutted rocks and I flatted in this section. I was tired and hit the rear wheel.

I quickly pulled over and got to changing the tube. All is not going to smoothly. I'm foggy headed from all the lactic acid and totally fumbling around like a rookie. I finally get the dam tube replaced and pop on the CO2 canister and......

phff....

What? no air? :( = oh shit.

I run up to a guy spectating about where I flatted and some guy stopped and lent me his pump.

pusch, pusch, pusch, pusch, pusch, pusch, pusch, pusch, pusch, pusch, pusch, pusch, ....

It took for what seemed like forever to fill the tire 60% of the way (dam 2.1 tires). OK good enough, I gotta go. I go back to my bike and here comes the freight train. at least 5-7 guys went by. One being Keith! oh shit there goes 2nd. I get finally get the wheel back on and take off. I had to run down (gasp) some of the downhill rocky spots and be extra careful not to flat on the remaining rocks. I rolled in to the finish not sure if I stayed on the podium. To many riders went by while playing service guy to eyeball all of em'. I hung around and talked to Keith (really nice guy) and waited for the results to post and hope for the best.

Sure enough a guy squeaked in between Keith and I, which relegated me to 4th....

Bummer.........................That's racing!


I had a fantastic race today, I rode to my ability. I feel stronger. End result a 4th (with the flat), maybe 2nd had it all gone to plan. I can't lie and not say I wasn't a tad disappointed at first, but hey.... It's a good marker for where I am and what I need to do to get 100% prepared for the coming Road events and CX come Oct.

A very tough race. I'm stoked to have finished the dam thing! Man I was hungery aftewards, we had a serious festa at Tres Hermano's in Napa. Carnitias all the way. Muey buyno...



Big thanks to Geoff for driving up to Napa.

1 Comments:

Blogger isaiasjob said...

Nicko!

Shite dawg...nice work despite the flat. That's racing, even when you are mentally and physically prepared, you can never do anything about randomn mechanicals. You have a good attitude though!
Definitely a tough race. I've done it the past couple years. The first year was my first podium as an expert. So I know how tough the race course is...I did it with gears...you're insane on a SS!

12:56  

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