May 2nd was an interesting day. When I got up to eat a bagel it was still raining pretty good. I was relaxed enough to know that the rain was going to end and that the trail would be dried out by the time I started. I was right....but it wasn't quite enough....but more on that later. As I lined up I was checking out my competition. There were 11 of us big guys lined up and chatting about the Yankee TT. I started to get nervous because 3 of the top 5 finishers from Yankee were lined up with me....and they were talking about winning. I figured I would hang with them until I ran out of gas. When the trail turned to a slight uphill I heard an awful sound.....that thankfully was not from my bike....but one of the speedsters (for my class) was spinning and not moving. His rear derailleur was toast. I got excited because I knew I could beat him to the end. As I approached the switchback climb I started to feel settled in. I actually pulled another racer up the hill with me. When I let him pass he said 'thanks for the pull dude' and promptly left me in the dust....lol.
Apparently Granny wanted me to visit for a few seconds longer. As I approached the end of the section I came up on the wooden bridge. My mind told me to swing wide and ride through the mud, but my body took over and tried to pull my Epic left and onto the bridge. FAIL. The bridge was still wet and had a nice layer of dirt on it from the other riders. Back tire first......off the edge of the bride.....chatter.....DOWN. I caught myself for the most part but took a good slam to my shoulder. I got up and moved to the side to take inventory. No blood....keep riding. When I ran up the next hill I realized my bar end was broken. I was less than half way done with the race. I jumped on and kept going.
The last mile and a half are really flat and fast. Just before this section I caught a sport rider that I could tell was struggling. I was chasing another guy in my category and really wanted to catch him because I thought I still had a chance at podium. The rider in front of me said "go ahead" but I was trying to catch my breath and was able to say "no worries, I just need to keep the guy wearing the blue jersey in my sight". The guy lowered his head and mashed away on his pedals with me right on his rear wheel. He helped me bridge to the guy I was chasing. I stuck with him until the flat and I just fell behind. I was still hauling ass when I passed my family and a few riders. It felt good to pass as many people as I did. Overall it was a great day to be racing. I finished with a smile on my face and was surprised that I dropped to 6th. I am very proud to represent Cross Country Cycle. I am also proud of Zack that finished 11th in his class.
I will take the improvement on my time this year. I only missed my goal time by 1 minute, and I was less than 4 minutes off the leader. Simply stated, I rode hard and had a blast. My next race is not for a while, so I have time to build more speed. If not, I will take what I can get!
sorry about the results page. here are the times