This post starts way back to 2 weeks ago at Afton where I got my butt handed to me. It was the worst I have ever felt in a race. My legs were worthless and I should have quit but I pushed through and I think it did a lot of damage. For over a week my legs felt the same, I would get lactic acid build up below my normal threshold thus reducing my power dramatically. I was not spinning the same gears I was earlier in the season. So, after my poor Ride and Glide time trial last Tuesday, I decided to either take the day off or go for an easy short spin from wed- sat. When Sat rolled around, I went for my ride that would prepare me for Sundays race and I felt like the legs were coming back. I found myself spinning the gears I wanted to be in.
Sunday was hot at the start and Mt Du Lac boasts one of the hardest starts in the series; 2 steep kickers right off the line to get the heart rate maxed out. I had a slow start which I expected since I hadn't done any climbing or intervals in the last 2 weeks, my plan was to ease into this one. So I eased into around 10th place going into the single track at the top of the hill behind Devin, TIm Norrie, Jake Richards, Chris Fisher and Scott Kylander- Johnson (order from me to up the trail). Devin crashed 1/4- 1/2 way in and I sat on Jake for a while. I lost my water-bottle on a descent at this point so I had no water the first lap (this will take its toll at the end). At the bottom of the main descent I passed Jake and quickly made it up to Fisher. Oh boy, the legs are starting to kick in at this point. I caught Scotty at the bottom of the big climb and slowly made my way around him as I ascended. Half way up was my water bottles which was a relief as I chugged half a bottle. Laps 2 and 3 were pretty much the same. I was feeling the flow of the sweet single track and I was spinning a nice gear staying smooth and letting the full suspension do its magic. Sam, Brendan, Jack and Jesse were a ways up the trail battling it out but I had my own war going on and there was no way I was going to catch them. I was growing the gap on Scott through the single track and the climbs but he has mad motocross handling skills and would make up time on the descents. I found out later that he had cramping issues on the big climb too. He came close to bridging back up but he dropped off quick in the bottom section single track. Anyway halfway through the final lap I marked Scotty and Tom Miller charging through the single track. I knew I couldn't slack off so I kept telling myself that I had to keep it going and run scared. Miller was finishing super strong. Remember that bottle that jumped ship on the first lap, well on the final climb before descending to the finish line the inevitable happened. PING! one more pedal turn and my inner thighs were going to lock up tighter than a drum. Let me tell you, total muscle cramps are one of the most painful things I have ever experienced. Lucky for me it was not a primary muscle used for running so I ran as fast as I could up the rest of the climb and didn't look back. Scotty later told me that Tom came around him and hammered up that last climb like it was the start, and I was the weak little carrot teasing him up the hill. I remounted at the top of the hill and navigated the slick grassy switchbacks w/o any problems and bombed the downhill straight before the 180 turn which led up to the finish. As I was bombing down the hill I snuck a glance back and saw Tom about 100 yards back. CRAP! Yea, I came into the 180 degree corner hot and ran out of talent. Boom! down I went sliding across the grass. I quick get back on but my chain fell off. I frantically shift my derailluer down and try to spin the chain back on while Tom comes up along side of me. Tom, the good sportsman that he is, doesn't capitalize on my misfortune and lets me win the sprint. Thanks Tom.
Well that's my race. I had a great time and the single track was perfect. Most fun I've had this year in a race. Thanks Coggs and everyone that volunteered to help put this race on.