The preparation at times trumps the race itself. If not careful one can knot themselves up so tight that they are conquered before the race even begins. I can easily turn up the pressure, especially when the race is run on your home course. WORS #5 Firecracker in Eau Claire is my stomping grounds. Knowing the course, knowing every root, rock, berm, and drop gives you not only an advantage but adds to the heat of battle.
At the sound of Don’s GO we were off for what would end up being by far the fastest, gnarliest, and fun WORS race yet. Long roll out on ski trail brought us to the new “whoops” section of table top, pump track jumps/bumps. I wanted to be in the top ten through the “whoops” section so that I could ride through it and not get caught in the middle. Came out of the section and dumped into the first single track riding six back.
Jumping out onto the first ski trail section I passed two riders, bridged up to the lead riders and rode on. Following the drop down on “onion” and into a ski trail section the ss speeder and I got gaped a bit so feeling good I moved in front to pull and work on closing the gap.
Every so often I could see 2nd place riding in and out of the trees. And after a sweet descent towards the end of the first lap I caught his wheel, passed and rode off. The legs were turning over faster then my mind would allow. Trees were whizzing and I was turning out of each corner…until my front wheel caught the soft part of the trail on a ridge and over the bars I went. Got up, quickly mounted, assessed my bike as I pedaled and thought nothing of it, until I went to shift up and there was nothing there. Look down and notice by rear derailleur cable busted. I finish up lap one running second and with a 28 x 11 combination. Saweeeet. Like it or not I had to run ss for laps two and three.
Continued the chase but also went into a little reserve mode knowing the climbs were going to be harder. Pounded the hills, flew the single track, and sat back and enjoyed every minute of it. That was how laps 2 & 3 played out. Rolled across the line what would be 3rd overall! Best race yet…
Started the race with a 2×10 and ended that race on a single speed. Don’t think I would have been able to last without the FitElite training and Carig Manthe. Huge props!
As for the race, I had to ask myself, “Did I climb up a rung on the ladder intellectually or physically? If so there will be other races where I can do better. Keep tuning the engine, grow some larger balls and victory may be mine someday….someday!