Monday, September 13, 2010
Blue Mountain Chainstretcher Race Report
With fingers crossed and mud fender in hand, I rolled up to Blue Mountain to take on the Chainstretcher course. It was a wonderfully techy course that was surely an advantage to bike handlers. I got in a good warmup knowing that it was going to be a long race and knowing the lines was going to be key.
As the race went off I was in a nice group of 5 that had broken away from the rest of the pack. I sat comfortably in 3rd for the first lap and with a few efforts got into 2nd. Then back to 3rd and repeat. During the 2nd lap I was in 2nd with a little gap but 3rd and 4th were close behind. Too close. Me and the two others started lap 3 together and it was going to be interesting how it went. As the rocks and roots beat on I just lost a little bit of steam with the lack of feed spots and hydration and couldn't keep the pace. I let the two go and tried to gain the time back to pass but it just wasn't there.
I crossed the line in 4th for a good finish with 18 starters but my mind was partially on the secondary race at hand. The overall race for the H2H series championship. My goal for today was to do the best I could and hopefully keep John Arias and Steve Mancuso behind me. They are #2 and #3 in the series so I wanted to keep them at bay. And I did just that. I finished one place ahead of John but 5+ minutes ahead and Steve unfortunately had to DNF. That may have been the reason I didn't chase as hard when the two others got through. With the 4th place finish I extended my lead to 136 points. If all goes well I will be able to wrap up the overall championship next week at the State Championship race at Jungle Habitat. If I have a solid day the series is over. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for sure!
In hindsight the race would have gone better with a few changes. First and foremost eating and hydrating normally. It was just a rough course with too few opportunities to do so. Secondly I made some poor choices on the course which cost me time and I need to be smarter next time. Also it doesn't help when your garmin GPS launches off the handlebar into the leaves and you have to stop at fullspeed and find it. That hurt a bit. That was probably the 21 seconds I needed to get 2nd. All notes for next time. Experience is key...