I've been pretty slack this summer bike racing wise. I was doing well up until the death virus in May. Something about being sick for almost 4 weeks takes the motivation to train right out of me, and along with it goes the motivation to race. I have however been riding a lot, but it's been a lot of cruising up the hill and charging down them. Kinda how I used to ride when I raced DH.
The second to last race in the summer series was being held at my local stomping grounds though, so I thought it would be a good idea to head out to Anne Springs and at least give it a go. I entered Master Men (45+ years old) even though I usually race CAT 2. There was no way I was fit enough to race that length right now. When I get to the line I'm happy to see a pretty decent sized field for one of the last summer series races. There are about 8 or 9 guys in the field. We line up and I make sure to get up front and on the inside left as there is a big left hand turn right in the beginning. Race starts and as we go through the turn 2 guys try and go around me on the right. Sorry boys, I raced to much MotoX to get punked like that. I take them wide and make them run off course or slow down. Both slow down. Now I have 4 minutes of mostly downhill, and I know every line out here. I figured I would be gone - you know, just drop the whole field. I was partly right. Someone stayed with me, and I mean right on my wheel with me. I was actually impressed. I pin it out here - it's my home track, WTH? After a while I started feeling like the poor Bison below…..
We catch the group in front of us and make our way up the first climb. The 2 girls in Sport nicely let both of us by and I absolutely hammer it. Like 160% of threshold hammer it. Figure it's time to put a gap on this guy and call it a day. Problem is, he is still sitting right on my wheel. Down another hill, through a tunnel, up a small climb, and then I make a mistake on a pretty big root. It almost stops me and sends me to the right far enough for him to slip by. He gets up front and does what a lot of people do when they get around me. They slow down. I really don't understand this? Do you think that just because you got around me I'm going to give up? If you knew me at all you would be running for your life. Now I'm pissed, motivated, and coming from the position I love to come from: HUNTER. I'd much rather be hunting the person in front of me then be out front and be the hunted. So I go to the left side of him and show him my front wheel. There really wasn't room to pass, and I didn't intend to pass him, but I wanted to shake him up a little and get in his head. I was hoping he was wondering when I was going to try that again. So he finally wakes up and goes super sonic up the hill. I wasn't ready for it and he gaps me - 3 or 4 seconds, no big deal. I catch him on the next downhill and we both stand and crush the next climb. I feel great and I'm all over him - just a matter of time before I make a move and put this one in the bag. That is, until I all of a sudden out of nowhere I get a chest cramp. Like Owen Wilson in Hall Pass I try and work through it, but it ain't happening. The only thing to do now is slow down. Sucks to have to let someone walk away from you when you have the legs. That's the issue with riding but not training. Not enough high intensity work is gonna catch up with you. I had to slow down enough that I started giving third place some hope. I kept him in check though and dialed in a nice Silver medal performance.