Sunday, April 26, 2009

Root 66 Race Series: Farmintong Classic

Race report: MTBERS posting some results at the Farmington Classic Root 66 Race Series!!!!!

Jeff had stated before race day, that warm up w/ this warm up (!) would be key in the race. Boy was he right!Jeff and I got to the venue about 1 hour before race start and decided to do a lap of the course to warm up. It was fast fire roads, w/ some twisty singletrack thrown in to keep it an honest mtb race. This year it had more single track than any previous years. Nothing more technical than an occasional log crossing (though we did see a guy land on his face from endoing on two small logs that were placed close together). The most difficult aspect would be to lay off the brakes and keep your speed and momentum in the twisty singletrack or sandy fire road turns so that in the heat you would not have to constantly re-launch. Just lean the bike and zip in between those trees, and rail those turns. It was all about flow. And if you could find it, boy did this course just flow. Jeff’s comment after the race summed it up best: “that was (freaking) awesome” (or something like that!).I normally never do very well w/ sprint start and tend to fall off the back and then have to fight the rest of the race to catch up and pick off riders. W/ the warm, I found myself in the lead group right at the start. The start was pretty sandy and needed some negotiation, so I did not get a chance to count all the riders in front of me but I thought I was in 7th place. Soon two groups of 3 riders formed, me hanging on to the last wheel of the second group, while the first was slowly pulling away. W/in a mile, I started to realize that I was not as winded or tired as I though I ought to be. Historically hanging w/ the top ten at a race should have red lined me right away, but I was not. I was actually feeling pretty good. As this course is fast enough to at times use drafting, I came from the behind the wheel of the last guy and sprinted past the second group and grabbed the wheel of the first group. Again, since this was very early in the race, that should have killed me, but I recovered quickly and found myself wanting more. Towards the end of the first lap, I passed the lead guy w/ good “authority” and no one was able to grab my wheel. By the time I went through the start, I could not see them behind me. I was in complete disbelief: this was the end of the first lap, and according to my (mis)calculations, I was actually leading. I tried to keep the pace high during the second lap making sure I was hydrating enough to not overheat, and to keep off the brakes and the flow going. There was no one ahead of me (other than significantly slower riders who were obviously in another category) and no one behind me. In my head, I kept on replaying the start to see if I could figure out if I had missed anyone. Part of me was really exited that I was “dominating” this race, while the smarter part was saying that a group might have escaped at the start w/ out me seeing it. It was not until ½ way through the last lap that someone on the side line encouragingly yelled out to me I was going to podium. I yelled back to see if I was in first, and she answered there were a couple of guys ahead of me. Soon after, I passed another category rider and he told me the next guy in my cat was less than a minute ahead. I gave it all I had and 2/3 of the way through the lap spotted him, when a rider in a group ahead suddenly took off after turning around and seeing my number. I knew he knew... Slowly I gained on him but I was just starting to completely overheat and hit the wall. I actually was able to grab his wheel right before the finish. Sadly, to cross the line the course did a small but steep climb where I just blew up. He beat me by 5 seconds. What sucks is that at the beginning of the last lap, when I came through the feed station, I accidentally dropped my new water bottle when I went to grab it. I had to hit the brakes, turn around, grab it, and get going again. This cost me at least 15 seconds….I ended finishing 3rd, which in the end I was quite happy w/. Jeff had a fantastic race as well and place in second place being only 30 seconds behind. At this time, both Jeff and I are the current race leaders for our age group in cat 2 (sport).
Posted by Refunds Now Cycling Team

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