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This weekend was tough - I think being late in the season and tougher weather conditions both contributed. I had "ok" races both days, but nothing stellar.
Saturday's course was fairly non-descript, in my opinion. The ground was frozen and the course was fairly flat, with only two notable sand sections. It was FAST out there, and required way more power than skills, which was ok for me, but not great. I ended up alone, between two groups of racers - never quite able to catch the group in front (although I heard I was gaining on them in the last lap), but able to hold off the group behind. Final result was 11th of 38 starters.
Mike raced before me on Saturday, and ended up with a flat early in the race. I ran over to the pit to let them know he was coming in and would need a change. They did it really quickly, but Mike had lost a number of places already, and was now chasing to make it back up. At one point, Matt asked where he was, and I told him he had flatted. Shortly thereafter, Matt also disappeared from the front of the race - I saw him at the end - he had crashed pretty hard, and had to go up to the medical tent for some attention. Not a great day for them either.
The course on Sunday was much more technical which I liked. What I didn't like? The snow/ice on the technical corners. I went down (not hard) on my pre-ride, and I think that got into my head A LOT. I was still recovering from my fall at Sterling, and going down on the ice, at speed, was not soundling like a lot of fun. I was overly-cautious, and I'll admit it, scared. Yup - a mountain biker afraid of a little ice and snow. Pretty bad, huh?
Sunday also featured longer sand runs than the previous day - oh boy! ;-). On the first lap, I got caught out getting into the first sand section, but was still with the front group going into the second half of the course - with the icy corners. I took this section WAY too conservatively - to the point of Teri passing me and asking if I was ok. Once I had that section figured out, I was ok, and managed to make up a few more places (partly by clocking Teri with my bike on the big run-up - sorry!), racing to hold off three chasers close behind. Finished 12th of 32 starters.
After the weekend, I was BEAT and pretty sore - the running was more than what I am used to, and I think that is what has hurt the most (including the bottom of my feet). My shoulder has the beginning of the season shoulder bruise, too - I don't normally shoulder in a way that puts the weight of the bike squarely on my shoulder, but had to this weekend.
Next weekend will be the last race for me, and I am doing it more for fun than anything else. I'm actually going to race my singlespeed in the open category, so expectations are fairly low ;-). I think I'm looking forward to that time off the bike!