Monday, October 13, 2008

Big Sky, MT Cross Race

Bergy & Amanda Carey, Michelle & I, and our two hounds piled into two vehicles and headed north Saturday morning for a double-header of MT cross racing. Our first stop was the Big Sky, MT cross race at 1:00 PM.

Road spray freezes solid at 25F

Temps were in the mid 20s with light snow and a stout wind. But people were spinning pre-race laps and milling about like it was summer mtn bike race. We found a little spot out of the wind to get warmed up on the trainers and change into our battle gear just before the race. Keeping the hands & feet warm would prove to be the biggest challenge for me.

The Men's Bs and Women race together

This steep little hill required a grunt each lap

What is wrong with this picture?

Michael became my "target" and we battled til' the end

I had a great race. I went as hard as I could, I didn't crash, I questioned my sanity mid-way through, and then wanted to do it all over again within minutes of crossing the finish line.

The real story of my race was my mini-battle with Michael. Michael and I settled into a race amongst ourselves by the 3rd or 4th lap and I had no idea what place we were in. The top guys were off the front and out of our site so my focus became Michael. I know his name was Michael because he had friends all over the course cheering for him and shouting "Go Michael" at every intersection. Michael and I traded positions at least 5 times. He would bobble a loose corner and I would pass. On the gradual uphill pavement, he would power by me like Fabian Cancellara in a time trial tuck and I couldn't stay on his wheel to save my life. He clearly had more "power" than I did but I was noticing that he struggled a bit with remounts after barriers. Over the last two laps I began calculating where I would try to make my last attack. It is amazing how "racing" takes your mind off of the pain. Near the end of each lap there was a 180 degree double barrier, followed by a tight right turn, and then the finishing straight. He attacked on the pavement again, but I stayed close this time and rode his wheel until the final barrier section where I attacked and made a great remount to pull ahead and then pinned it to the line to win our little battle. Glorious! Michelle said I took 4th but I haven't seen the official results yet. I am so hooked.

Amanda unfortunately double-flatted early into her race but she was putting the fear of god into all of the men and Michelle said that she was closing the gap on the lead men rapidly. She is hooked now too so look out!

Bergy raced next with the Men's A group and looked really strong throughout. There was some strong competition in this race and Bergy fought hard to take 5th. Nice work Bergy!

A report on Sunday's race in Bozeman, MT coming soon...

1 comment:

Ed said...

Good stuff, nice report!