Tuesday, May 6, 2014

2014 Fort Custer Stampede

David W. and I at the start!
 First singletrack race of the year. We headed down to Augusta and the Fort Custer Recreation area. Jay and Mark got there early and got us a good spot for the tent. We rolled in around 10:30 and got our number plates. Izzy was at a sleepover so no racing for her, but Zack was with me and he was ready to rock! I had a goal time of 1:15 in mind and I figured that might put me mid-pack....but that was when there was only 8 signed up in my class. There was 16 of us on the start line and off we went.

I started hard and hit the first corner in 5th place. By the time we hit the woods I was out of the top 10. I pushed as hard as I could and I was surprised that I was keeping the leaders in sight. We headed into the Crazy Beaver loop and I could still see the top 3....I was sitting in 8th or 9th. Coming out of the Crazy Beaver and into the trenches they were starting to pull away....but I could still see David W. a little bit ahead of me. He was sitting in 2nd or 3rd and I knew there were a few guys between us....so I kept chugging.

Out of the Crazy Beaver and into the first part of the Red loop and the gap was opened....I started losing sight of them....and a few guys had passed me....some in my class and some from the classes behind me. Out of the trenches and into the meadow area.....this is where things got interesting. I knew there was a guy behind me....but he was not trying to pass....he was just sitting on. As we broke out into the field before the camel humps I hear a guy behind us scream "get the f**k out of the way" and then grumbling from a few others....as a train of riders started to surge past. There was three guys from the same team leading the line and they forced the two of us off the trail as they passed. Then going into the camel humps a guy passed me on the right side.....ON TOP OF THE FIRST HUMP......crazy dude for sure. 

Things settled down from there....I could see a few guys in my class on the switchback climb but I was just riding my own race at that point. I was still pushing and I was feeling pretty good. A few people passed here and there but everyone called it out....or asked for an opening. The amusement park backwards was uneventful...as I was riding with another guy and we passed back and forth for a while. Out of the Red and onto the Green loop. Kept riding with the same guy for a bit and then after the creek I saw Ted R. on top of the climb. Frisbee.....

I started riding harder, and I actually picked off a few guys. On the boat launch climb I finally reeled in Ted and passed him at the top. I knew the next section was flat so I went for it...hard.....go baby go. The course was different...as we turned off the trail and onto a 2-track then onto a paved section which dumped us back into the course backwards. I knew the finish was close so I kept going as hard as I could...

Towards the end!

Little did I know that Ted was chasing me down. I didn't think it would matter....because I didn't see him at the start line so I figured he was not racing my class....but he was. As we crossed the road to the finish people started to yell "go, you can get him...go go go" and he passed me right before the line....to beat me by 2 seconds....and knock me out of the top 10. I should have known that he was in my class...I learned something. ha.

It was a fun day for sure. Zack did very well in his race taking home a 4th place and only being about 8 minutes behind the winner. Not bad for only riding his bike on dirt one time this year. 
Zack took 4th!!

So, Yankee is in less than 2 weeks and Brian and I have a friendly bet about who will win. I won at Barry Roubaix and he beat me at the Stampede. So...whoever wins at Yankee will be the champion....of what...I don't know...but it is just fun to go out and ride bikes!!!

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