I never get thrilled about racing Lewis Morris. Maybe it's the full gas aspect of the race or the lack of technical features always has me going into this race so excited...yawn. I tried to put that aside and just know that it's a good test of my fitness and great prep for next weekend's race in South Dakota at the Tatanka 100. I wasn't sure how my legs would respond after a hard Stoopid 50 race last weekend but I was ready to test them out. I knew I had some juice so I'd be ok but exactly what would happen - who knows.
My race was a pretty uneventful one. I lined up on the outside and charged hard off of the start to try and get in good position going into the singletrack. I hit the turn sitting 5th and accelerated with the group and already feeling that it might be a tough race. I was digging deep and the legs were responding but not with 100% like I was hoping. I stayed on the group as Cody shot through then Eddie then BL. After that I let a gap open and could see those just ahead but couldn't close it. My stomach felt off and the legs were not fresh. I kept pushing and through the lap I could hear Joe and Brian somewhere behind. I was thinking it was only a matter of time before my wheels fell off and they would come blasting through. Into lap 2 Joe latched onto my wheel and I could tell he was hurting. He passed me on the steepest up and I just rode his wheel hoping to use him to get me to Ben who I thought was just ahead. Into the next climb Joe asks me if I want to pass and I told him no just ride smooth and we'll work together. He said that's nice - and admitted he couldn't hold that pace any more and he was popped. I never saw Joe again. After that I passed Nick Lando who seemed completely shattered. I actually thought he might have been a slow rider on his first lap...yikes. He tried to latch on but never saw him again.
So I'm just waiting for Brian to pass now. In the longer twisty sections Brian is right there but I hit the climbs with whatever I have and expect him to close but the gap remains or opens. Start of lap 3 I'm still alone seeing flashes of Brian somewhere behind me but the gap is remaining. Through the back parking lot I hear someone flying up and here comes Brian...nevermind...it was Ben. He must have had an issue or I passed him in the pit. He cruised through and I tried to latch on but I didn't have it. I just rode steady for the remainder of the course and finished as solid as I could. I finished up and was glad to be done with that race.
7th place in around 1:30. It was a solid effort and a hard one at that. I haven't looked at my HR data but it was high. I threw up in my mouth twice and pushed pretty hard. I chatted with Cody later and he said that he finished in 1:24 so I was happy with only losing 6 minutes to him. Looking back I shouldn't have ridden as well as I did. My legs are still recovering but on top of that I had my wedding shower the day before which was good, but stressful to say the least, I woke up with a sore throat that has progressed today into congestion and a nice head cold, and generally just feeling kinda crummy. I'm really happy with the result and that should put me into the points lead for the series. I'm still focusing on the endurance races but it's good to see that consistency is paying off in the shorter races.