My race went off well in the beginning. It was Gordo and myself at the front into the first turn and he didn't want to lead so I went. I felt I could ride it better with a clear view so why not. I would be able to moderate the pacing anyway. So through pumphouse I just rode it clean and got to Bruce by the first turn onto cherry ridge and there was only the eventual winner(Mike T.) and me. I thought to myself that this could be a good day but it was early...yikes would that prove to be true. Anyway - on to the goodies like fishermans and rattlesnake I stayed on Mike T's wheel and hear someone sneaking up...Monte. I knew it wouldn't be long before I saw him. So he got around me on Rattlesnake and we all kept it together through most of lap 1. I got separated from them in Rockadendron and endoed nicely and lost sight of them for good. I knew they were flying so I decided to moderate power and set a nice pace. I crossed the line in 3rd 5 minutes behind 1st and 2nd place.
Onto lap 2. I got onto Pumphouse and my tire was flat. Hit it with the Co2 and made it about a half mile further before putting a tube in. Two got through while I was fixing the flat and I got past one as he had a mechanical(broken wheel) while I was chasing back on. So now I was sitting 4th. I kept on it and was keeping a good pace through the first half of lap two but coming to the downhill that leads to sitting bear I pinched the new tube. So then went in my last tube and co2's. I decided to air it up pretty high to ensure that I finished the race. Well it worked cause I finished the race but it was an unbelievably horrid ride. I could not put any power down with it jarring my back the way it was. So I was totally pissed. 3 flats, a rough ride, and now my bike was ghost shifting.
I made it through sitting bear, albeit slowly and passed the aid just to get it over with. I did what I could to get up red dot but I had no motivation at this point. I was just rolling with the purpose of getting to the end. I was so demotivated that I said to myself that the race is over and I was just going to ride the rest of the course, nevermind race it. Just after Jim's bridge Butt came through and I let him go as I had my hissy fit. Then on Rockadendron Paul came through. I really didn't want to be out there any longer than I needed. I was so tempted to turn around and go back to the furnace and just end my day but I couldn't. I figured the least I could do was turn it into a nice training day and finish. So lethargically I kept on and at this point my legs were just cooked. After trying to fire it up so many times after mechanicals they just didn't respond so I slowly rode the rest. Onto iron mountain Jared came through and I tried to respond but nothing was there. So I just rolled to the finish.
Looking back it really wasn't as grim as I thought at the time but I was really just dissatisfied with how I rode and my lack of mechanical preparation. I should have changed out that rear tire knowing that it could have been an issue and it was. With those tire issues out of the way, even with my lethargic pace I would have placed 4th with my garmin reading 5:01 rolling time(3rd was 4:53, 4th 5:06). I finished in 5:13 in 8th place. Maybe I could have caught up to Greg in 3rd if it went smoother but I hate to play the what if game. Either way I finished still in the money but still way out of it mentally. It was a good hard day to learn from and use as motivation in the future. Hopefully I will do a little better in the next race. I finish my last course of antibiotics (from my fun sinus infection after stewart) today and with some good hard work the next couple of weeks I hope to be back to my old self. We shall see.