Today was the Tymor Park Challenge in Lagrangeville NY. It's always a race that is a little crazy since they have a great choice of hills to throw in and the rain there always makes the course a disaster. So with this one coming up I wasn't sure how to prepare but I was just hoping for the best and heading up ready for anything. And to sum it up in one word - AMAZING!!!
For those of you that bagged the race because it was going to rain....TOO BAD!!! It was amazing!!! The course was bone dry and even dusty in sections. The hill was still painful and flowed much better in the course. It was just great in general.
The CAT1 30-39 race went off with probably 20+ guys and went out fast. My teammate Keith got the hole shot and I jumped on his wheel. He peeled over so I could get around him and Roger Foco beat me to the punch and had the better gear and momentum. I hit the first hill with too big of a gear and panicked to downshift and finally recovered to jump onto Roger's wheel. From here we started the pain train motoring through the fast swoopy singetrack. On one left hand corner Roger slid out and hit the ground blocking the trail so I had to jam on the brakes. Steve Mancuso got through but Marco Mora squirted through on the left as Roger got up. We hit it hard and got to the fire road where I was getting antsy and jumped to the front. I knew the course well and I just wanted to get to the hill to put a solid effort in. As I put it down I had Steve with me and others falling behind. Steve and I were opening up a nice gap passing the previous classes as we cruised. Into the hill we went - I put it down and Steve stuck right with me. Awesome! It was great to have a teammate with me. We hit the top of the hill and drilled the down and were all alone together into lap two.
This duo of Steve and myself stuck into the hill once more. I asked him if he wanted to pass and take a pull but he said he liked his spot and we kept on drilling it. We picked off more people here and there and just kept it super steady. As we hit the hill for round two I was feeling more confident about the effort needed to get to the top fast and wanted to push it up a notch as I had it dialed. I pushed harder and harder and got to the top and saw that I had opened up a gap on Steve. I knew it wouldn't be long before he joined me again. So out of the end of lap 2 I was solo in the lead.
I kept on it passing some here and there and passed Brian Kelley on the SS(later I found out he was the SS leader) which he immediately jumped on my wheel. We rode together for the majority of the 3rd lap with the sounds of brakes and hard shifting not too far off. I knew I had to keep on it as to hold off the charging mob. As we hit the hill for round 3 the pain started setting in and I was right on the verge of cramping. We were going so hard that if I pushed just a bit more I would have cramped solid. Either way I wasn't giving in and I refused to ride the hill easily as I was worried about what was close behind. So I put everything into finishing that last lap as hard as I could. I said hi to Wendi as I was about to hit the field and started hooting and hollering a bit and hit big ring and crushed it across the field. I looked back to see only Brian and Wendi in the field so I knew I had the win. I cruised in for a finish time of 1:36:37 in first place. It felt sooooo good!
I rolled across the line and of course was curious about what unfolded behind me so I turned around to see the finish order and just under a minute later RFJ came rolling in with Mancuso shortly behind and John Arias a little behind him. The 4 of us were all within 3 minutes of each other. It was an amazing race. What a bunch of fit doods and just great racers in general.
I just looked over my garmin data:
Holy consistency. What a day!!!!!!!!!
I'm tired now... :-)