Ok so I said MTB season was over but almost. This race was a cross type race on the MTB bikes. 40 minutes of an all out effort with a field of ~36 racers. It was good since it would tell me how my engine was going to handle this type of intensity. I knew through the rest of the season my endurance was good but going this hard for this short of a time period usually takes some time to get used to. It hurt.
I took off and was 2nd row on the start but made sure I got to the front early. I was sitting 4th into the first climb and then just stayed steady to see if anyone would come around. We were going hard enough that they couldn't. So I sat on 3rd place's wheel to see where he would make a mistake and where I could pass. Sure enough his pace slowed up so I was planning my pass and where the course split - one high line and one low line - he went low and I went high. I lit up the upper line as I knew I was more confident there and by the time the course came back together I had a couple second gap on him. So I just laid it down and patiently stretched the gap and started to work up to Monte. Maurice was killing it and in the lead by a decent margin so my battle was to get up to Monte and the race would unfold behind me(hopefully). So on I kept the pace and I started to close on Monte in lap #3. Up to the top of the 2nd part of the first climb I see him getting closer and closer. As I hit the garden - getting antsy knowing he's right there - I bobble and can't get clipped in. I hit the following downhill and rocky stream crossing not clipped in. CRAP! I was unsettled with not being clipped in so I had to be conservative and the gap reopened. My mistake.
I got back in the pedal and began search and destroy mode again. I hit every hill hard and looked for the remaining lap card. I thought we'd be doing 5 laps but then the cards suggested 6. So I knew just how to pace myself. I was hoping to regain sight of Mike but he was just out of range. I made up some time as my 5th and 6th lap got faster and faster but I wasn't close enough to challenge Mike at the end. I was in nowhere's-ville. Couldn't see ahead or behind so I let up a bit and cruised to the finish. 45 seconds away from Monte and 1:30 from Freddy who was chasing. Pretty decent gaps but not that great if there was the slightest error. Such a fun discipline. It was a fo real mtb course in a cx format. Pretty fun. 3rd place was the finish and I was happy with that. Hopefully this bodes well for my cx season that follows. Now it's really officially CX season :-)
Here's a great video recap of the event. Check it out! Great job filming and editing! http://vimeo.com/30940924