Saturday, September 26, 2009

The last race of the season proved to be a success for both Sam and me. Perfect weather and trail conditions greeted riders today for a great race. When we arrived Brendan Moore was on his way to winning the MN State Single Speed Championships, a decision he made 2 days prior to the event in competing. It was training for his upcoming National 24 hr Championships in Moab. At the line Chris Anderson announced that the race would consist of a prologue lap plus 4. Everyone was thinking prologue plus 3 due to what was posted on line. We were in for a long day. Hollywood got the hole shot as usual with me on his wheel and Brendan behind me. I took over when we hit the forest ski trails and pulled for a bit and was thinking I shouldn't be on the front. I moved over and motioned for someone to pull through. Brendan said "sorry Eric". So Lance Beuning took the pull into the single track. After the prologue it was Lance, Brendan, Luke Nelson, Sam, me, and Justin Rienhart going into the single track. We all stuck together for a while until a nasty swampy section that had rocks and roots strewn all over the place. It was tough to manuever through it and gaps started to open up. Sam and Brendan got around Lance somewhere and Luke and I were behind Lance within 15 seconds. Luke pulled a good first lap and we had eventually passed Lance. Sam and Brendan were up a little further I'd say within 30 seconds. Luke let me take the lead starting the 2nd lap and I was hesitant because I thought we were managing a good pace and I didn't think I could beat Luke's enduro motorcycle skills. Once I got around and found my rhythm though I was railing the corners pretty good and I had good power out of the corners and kick on the short punchy hills. I slowly built a gap between myself and Luke. When I came through the field to start the third lap I couldn't believe I was catching Brendan. I was about 100 meters from him going into the single track. He put up a good fight for the first 1/3 of that lap but I caught him in the nasty swampy section and he let me past when we exited it. I glanced through the woods for a split second as we were weaving through the woods to see Luke hit a rock and go OTB. I was pretty excited to be in second place since this is only the second time its happened for me. Just like every race I always try to ride the single track as efficient as possible and stay focused. If you push it just a little bit you start making mistakes and you end up losing time. The closest I got to within Sam is like 30 seconds. The whole last lap Sam put time into me and I was starting to slow down. The first incident happened just before the swampy section when my forearm hit a tree hard, and for a while it was painful to brake with my left arm. I have a bump on my tendon right now. Then just after that as a result of a painful forearm I tried to hop up a big boulder and descend down a narrow ramp but my front tire slipped off and I caught myself with my left leg. Many racers know that when you have been just using the biking muscles in a race and when your reflexes suddenly make a different muscle move it cramps up tighter than a drum. Oh, the pain! I managed to run the bike trough some of that nasty section just because it was hard to remount and it was probably just as fast. I shifted down to the middle ring for a bit just to spin the legs out and see if cramping was going to be an issue but I didn't feel any threatening. Even after losing some time there I couldn't see anyone catching me. Then I had another incident with about 1/3 lap to go. I came out of a corner or something and a root bounced me sideways and the next thing I know I'm hanging off the back of my bike and side swiping a big pile of cut brush on the side of the trail. I was like, what the heck was that all about. Seriously, in this single track, one split second lapse in concentration and your bush wacking through the woods. I always think of it like the Star Wars speeder bikes. To be able to hold down some serious power and be snapping the bike back and forth through the woods is one of the greatest feelings in mountain biking. Anyway, I held out to the end and picked up 2nd place. Sam had a winning time of 2:15 which is pretty long for a winning time in a mtb. Some guys were out there for 3hrs. Chris Anderson felt a little bad so he offered all elite riders a free beer and slice of pizza afterward. Good times all around and I don't think anyone complained about the extra lap. Overall in the season its: Brendan Moore 1st, Sam 2nd and me 3rd. I'm pretty sure we took over the top spot for team competition too. On a side note Jack Hinkens and Jesse Rients were not present. If they were, Jesse I believe would just have to finish to take 3rd spot overall, and Me and Jack would have a battle for 4th and 5th. I would have liked a duo between Jack and myself but thats the way it goes. We'll have to take it to the cross races for the rest of the season. Thanks to Anderson and all the volunteers for putting on another great race. Until next year, that is it for mountain biking.


Blogger Kyia said...

Thanks for coming up to Cloud Town O' Bro's. Enjoy your fall riding and training for speed skating. Maybe we will see Sam at a few XC ski events.

Tue Sep 29, 01:55:00 PM  

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