Monday, March 3, 2008
Wes only looks like a convict, he's really a nice guy. DRJ likes the contrast between his smile and D-Waynes scowl.
Nice job to the boys in blue for stacking the podium (first time ever) in a really hard race. For the part of the race I was actually racing it was great to be in such a big field.
The first couple miles I was battling with TK, Chris , and Scott Ogilvie to put some distance on the field, which we did. Close behind were Wes and Bob and a guy from IL who were poised to jump me when I blew, which I did. I was really on the rivet and trying a little to hard and went down early, but was able to jump right back in there. It was unbelievably hard. The conditions weren't muddy, they were just soft and slow. Lower back scorching power, which I definitely don't have right now. Chris and the guy from IL took off and I was left to chase TK only to be passed by both Bob and Wes who put a big gap on the both of us fast.
I started to put some pressure on TK and just as I was coming up on him he flatted. Not the way you want to see good competition go down. I kept reminding myself that this pain would go away, as it usually does when I am fit, and tried to find some rhythm. I came up at Wes who was trying to figure out where to go, through the tunnel or over it, and we started to battle for 4th position. Bob was no where in sight and I wasn't sure if Wes was blocking for him, or just on the rivet so I attacked him which didn't last long at all. As soon as we hit the grassy part at the base of the climb he rode away from me.
I was still feeling serious leg searing pain in my quads but thought it would go away and started to think more like an endurance racer and started to eat, drink and pace. I figured it was early in the season and someone up the road would have to blow.
Coming through after the first lap Chris had less than 2:30 on me, which wasn't as bad as I had thought, so I put my head down and pushed on. The first part of the course was the worst and was all power. I didn't have any power and since we were going so slow my technical skills (or lack of yesterday) weren't a benefit. I did start to see Wes again though and a Dent Wizard rider I don't know (Andy Oguinn) was about 20-30 seconds back. He was getting a little bit closer and I was getting closer to Wes so I slowed up a little on one of the short, stiff, slow climbs that you went into with no speed and let him get pretty close and then gassed it a little hoping to break him. I didn't. He was still about 10 seconds back when I caught Wes and caught us right before one of the short descents.
The three of us rode together for a bit and, once again,my skills failed me on a short downhill and I ended up all over my face... Not a big deal though, I caught right back on and we rode as a trio for a couple more miles. on the backside of the course there was a grassy climb followed by a series of mid length climbs... As soon as we hit the base I was off the back. I was pedaling squares and my legs were burning. I wasn't coming out of the hole... I was in survival mode now.
Riding alone I started to focsus on just staying smooth and suffering for one more lap when I felt the rear end go flat in an instant. Upon inspection I noticed quite a bit of Stans coming out of the broken bead and it was really tough to distinguish much else with all the mud... I struggled to get the tubeless valve out which I got to the point at which I almost gave up and then realized I would have to walk 3 miles so I kept trying.... Then the Corey past... I struggled... a couple more people passed. Finally I got the tube back in and made it about a mile down the trail before it really blew out. Game over.
Time to rest more. I have a lot of excuses but what it boils down to is that I trained hard, didn't rest enough, and paid the price in pain.
On to the next one.