Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Mount Snow Root 66 Race

In preparation for the upcoming nationals at mount snow, Root 66 offered a preview of the courses and a race for the New England racers. My friend from school Gonzo and I headed up there first thing Saturday to make the Super D event at 10 am. We showed up a little later than we hoped and didn't get a preride. Luckily the event was going to be the total time of 2 heats. The first run we ran up the hill side, got on our bikes, and headed down the slope almost immediately into a drop followed by 90 degree turn over a huge rock and into singletrack. I got 2nd wheel into it and was feeling fine until i crashed on a root and had some guy run me over. So I got back on and chased back to the lead group of 3 where I sat in until I almost crashed on a 40mph dh with loose gravel. So instead of going down I opted for ripping thru the tape and going off course. I got back in and couldn't close the gap and came in 4th. Now that I new the course and realized I needed way less air pressure in my shocks and tires, I changed that out in the car, headed up the lift, and was determined to win the next heat. I got 2nd wheel again and about 15 seconds in the leader went down there I did. I held the lead the hole race attacking on all the climbs. We entered the last dh into the finish with someone right on my wheel. I went for the sprint thinking I had it in the bag and as we crossed the line a guy got me by half a wheel. Oh well, now I know I need to do a lot of pre riding for Windham and Nationals if I want to do well.  I ended up 3rd overall in the expert class.

The rest of the day involved gonzo racing the sport short track and the hill climb on my SS. Luckily for him we only brought one freewheel, which happened to be the wrong one for both events. He managed to settle in to second in the ST and then wore out the leader half way thru and rode in for the win. He managed to pick up third in the hill climb with a little bit of walking. For some reason I decided to race the Expert/Pro short track. After about 4 laps I got tired and sat up letting everyone pass me including my LMC teammate Brad "Lobster" Perley who lapped me a couple times on his way to winning the pro race. 

After all the days events we headed to some town about 45 minutes further into VT to stay with Thom P and his teammates Colin and Linnea at Thom's friend's house. We all had a nice feast, chilled out and headed to bed. The next morning Thom and I had all kinds of canned coffee drinks to get ready for the race and a large amount of cereal. Thanks to Terri for having us over.

Over the course of the night it rained like crazy which made the dry fast course into a wet muddy course just like nationals last year (YES!!!!) So I was feeling much better about not getting a pre ride in and was ready to race. They changed the beginning of the course by cutting out a piece of singletrack and adding a soggy steep grassy uphill into a super fast fire road decent, right out of the gate, ugh. After telling myself and everyone how much I hated the start and that I wasn't even going to go for it until we got to the next uphill, I ended up 2nd wheel into it and held it to the next climb, oh well it worked out. For the next couple hours we went up and down and up and down walking the unridable section and ripping the dh. I rode solo for a lap and then was joined by Sean from Bikeman who I rode with for a couple laps before he put a gap on me. Luckily we were able to catch a few guys and work together along the way. We weren't able to close the gap on the 2 guys up the trail and we held on to 3rd and 4th place. 

Overall that had to have been the hardest race I have ever done. 4 laps on that course is just silly. After 3 laps holding on during the DH was almost impossible, I found myself being forced to back off. Instead of recovering a whole new set of muscles hurt, it almost felt like the climbing was recovery. Luckily everything on the bike worked perfect and Gonzo was hooking us all up with awesome feeds so I could focus on riding steady for the 3 hour race.

Colin ended up with a couple flats and decided to bag it while Thom rode to 6th place in the pro race with his ss (nuts). Lobster took 3rd!

Next week I'm off to Windham, NY for the East Coast NMBS race and then MT Snow the following weekend for XC and Super D.