Monday, May 04, 2009

serc #5/Kenda Cup East ducktown, tn 6th place. yawn

so we got a late start driving from boone since i hadn't really packed or anything before work. thankfully the car ride to maryville, TN was pleasant and i was wearing my goofy SWIFTWICK socks so circulation in my legs/feet was like never before. after decorating for my mother-in-laws 50th birthday i got to bed early at 1am. told me there was a 80% chance of rain and thunderstorms. darcy and her folks decided to hang out in maryville instead of attending the ocoee white water center/tanasi trail venue and cheering for me. they did however ring the cowbell at random at home all morning. i rolled in, got signed in, got my number, paid parking fee, changed, talked with drew and fennell, and finally started warming up at 9:20am. what time does our race start?!? 9:30!! at least i'm a slow sport xc-2 racer so i had 5 groups start before me. schweet. 9:50am start. after an excellent lukewarm-up i made my way to the start line.

we had a neutral rollout across the narrow bridge and up the gravel/sidewalk then the moto pulled out of the way and i was sitting 2nd. nobody seemed to want to come around so i mosied my way into the singletrack. at this point three guys decided my pace was too slow and my legs agreed so i dropped to 5th, then a couple other guys came by and i'm sitting like 8th or so. climbing the singletrack to the first fireroad is quite fun even with rivers of water gushing through. i tried to follow jeff welch's advice and ride through the middle of the trail to keep my tires clean. it worked. i used a conti 2.2 mtn king front and conti 2.2 race king rear and they worked (almost) flawlessly. if only their wet/mossy/deadly bridge traction was a bit better...

so more singletrack climbing and a bit more singletrack climbing interspersed with fireroad rollers and i'm turning onto the super fun downhill to the river, then its highway sidewalk to the start/finish. i did my best donovan carroll impression and timetrialed up to some guys in my category. we rode together through the previously neutral (still was in their minds, did they get the memo?) and i began looking for our domestique john fennell for my feed. even with slowing down and taking big gulps i entered the singletrack climb, looked back, and nobody was there. they probably flatted, because i know i didn't drop them.

so its mucky gushy singletrack climbing, fireroad climb, singletrack super mud tech (i cleared it both times) and i passed some other xc-2 guys and managed to hang onto nick waite's wheel for a bit on downhill gravel. i think my extra mass helped... after he took off i entered the superfun last downhill trail, passed two women expert xc-1 folks, then cautiously crossed the first bridge... my momentum briefly equalled zero and with my weight shifting left, my right pedal unclipped i ejected myself down an embankment to a creek below. after remembering wasting precious seconds i scrambled back up only to see the two women look at each other and question why they let me pass... i hopped back on the bike, caught a singlespeeder with no brakes (his method of dragging his right foot sent lots of projectiles into the middle of the trail. at least afterwards he apologized-something about trying to let me pass, but not being able to stop), passed him on the gravel, and went back into DC impression timetrialing. if only i had my aerobars.

so i worked pretty damn hard, passed some people (other categories i think), drafted a pro guys wheel, nearly caught another rider....oops..... its an expert woman (or the 5th place guy??) so i sat up and coasted across the line. one hour twenty minutes. two laps. ~18 miles. covered in mud. super fun time. i find domestique fennell and he tells me drew was in 2nd or 3rd at worst. he was trying to tell me this during the race but our race radios didn't work. something about too much mud/rain...

so i'm spinning around, sipping recovery drink, and drew comes by, zips up his jersey, puts his hands to the air and holds up two fingers signifying his finish. okay, maybe he just coasted across the line, jersey unzipped, not knowing what place he was in. fennell asked me how i thought i did and i said either 4th or 8th. something like that. turns out i guessed right. after two hours of waiting, taking a dip in the ocoee, changing, getting rained on, drinking PBR, results confirmed i was as mediocre as i expected. at least i think... yep RESULTS HERE i know i wasn't top 5 and 6th looked like my number (names weren't on the results sheet) so i handed mr. 2nd place my boone bike jacket for his trip to the podium, and headed to my car. aahhh. cross country racing.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Great job, didn't know you crashed on the bridge, I did the same, unreal slick. See you soon.