Race Report for Root 66 MTB series: Putney/ West Hill VT
Well I hate to state the obvious but VT ain’t no RI!!!!
This was a very personal race for me as my younger brother was racing the cat 2 w/ me though the younger age group. At the end we would be able to compare our times!!!! Ahhhh brotherly love and competition. He is normally a fast mofo, and is currently leading the NY/NJ series. I have not been able to keep up w/ him in a long time.
Before pre-riding the course, I had read online it was about almost a 1000 feet of climbing per lap, and we would be doing 3 laps. I had actually no freaking idea what that meant but found out when doing a lap for warm up: it hurts! The course was up, down, up, down, up, up, up, up, up, down, and back up for a long time. There were no flat sections. On top of that because of all the rain, the first half of the course was super slick w/ lots of off camber roots, which made traction something special to come by. And in some of the long climbs, the soil was soft and muddy to make sure you really were working it. For those of you who have done the Winsted Woods race, it made that course look flat. Welcome to freaking Vermont!
Right from the start, the guy who had beat me at the second race this season took off like a bat from hell! (Here is the video of the start: http://www.cyclingdirt.org/videos/coverage/view_video/235305-root-66-putney-west-hill-mtb-race/190394-cat-2-3rd-wave). I had to give it everything I had to keep up and then reel him in. I knew from the last race that the moment we would hit the slick techy section, I would be able to pass him. And indeed once the course got really slick and rooty, I was able to pass him and I just stomped on it. I wanted to try to set the tone and bluff about my fitness for it to be a little demoralizing to him. At the end of the first lap was a LONG straight climb and when I crested and looked back there was no one from age group to be seen. I decided I would try to keep the pace high for the second lap and suffer as much as I could through all the climbs to keep distancing myself. Then I would just try to survive w/out walking any of the hills climbs. It worked as I finished first by three minutes. The icing on the cake, was that my brother won his age group; and even better than that, I beat his time by 18 seconds…(to his fairness he had partied hard the night before). It was a fantastic race and my front derailleur has never seen this much action!
Here is what Jonny Bold had to say about the race: