Saturday showed up and got registered with plenty of time to spare so we walked the course to see for good spots for pictures and get a feel for it. I was able to get a couple warm-up laps in to get familiar with the corners. For the Cat 2 race it was 12 miles of basically a flat fast course with many corners, and only one small climb. Got to the line looked around and saw about 10 or so riders, so a small turnout, but still some good competition. Got the holeshot going into the woods and already had a small gap. First couple laps went fairly routine with a couple guys pretty close, and one guy on a single speed sitting right on my wheel by now. I would bobble one of the corners and put my inside pedal down and spin out, so now I was starting to feel some pressure to keep the speed up. I would stay in front for now, but another poor corner after a few laps and I was in second. By this point we are at least 20 or so seconds ahead of the rest of the group, and I am down around 10 seconds, and could not bring the gap back. Being this was a short track we started to lap people by now and getting behind some lapped traffic at the wrong point put me down a little farther. By the final lap I was about 15 seconds off the lead and would settle in for a second place finish. Pretty fun event, something I would do again, wish it was a little shorter being the day before a longer race, but was still fun.
Sunday brought us to the XC race. 19.5 miles of mainly all singletrack, with very tight turns, lots of trees on the sides of the trails, and a little bit of short climbs, but nothing major. Got on the front line of the race, there were 62 starters today, and the start would be very important as it was close to 300 yards to the singletrack with a 180 degree right hander into it from the field. Got the holeshot again, and didn't look back, the first section was the same course they used for the short track so I was just moving at that point. The course had a bunch of switchbacks and places where you can see the riders behind you. I was holding on to about a 10 second lead the entire way through the first lap, and feeling pretty good. Starting the second lap a guy was able to get up to me, but that was a good feeling because I had someone there to help push me along so we kept up a solid pace. Still with a good lead we hit one section where they cut out a tree and I hear the guy behind me go down, and find out after the race he flatted the front tire and went over the bars, so I was alone again. Starting the final lap I had about a 30 second lead, but the guys were coming fast, and I was starting to feel it in my legs. I drank when I could but my legs were cramping up pretty bad, and by the first 2 miles into the lap I was caught. Was able to keep in front for a short time, but once it opened up I let the pass as they were alot faster then I was at this point. I get into the final 2 mile loop in 4th place with still a decent gap over the rest of the field, but fading fast. I get about 1/2 mile from the finish and I have a rear flat, damn, so I try and push the bike up the hills and ride it on the flats and downhills, but about 1/4 mile my tire came off the rim and the tube wrapped around the rear hub so I had to stop and take the wheel off to get it rolling again. Knowing if I try and replace it now I would loose more time and just decide to run it the final section. While running I had a couple more people pass me and I lost a good 2 minutes or so messing with the tube. Ended up coming across the line with lots of people cheering and finished in 18th place out of 55 finishers. Looking back if I would have just ran it from when I first saw the flat I might have had a few more places, but I made a different decision and that is what it was.
Racing picks up again in 2 weeks with 3 IMBCS Races in the month of August and lots of points available for the series which I am currently leading.
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