It’s been awhile since I’ve updated the ol’ blog here. Once you accidentally forget to right a report for one race it’s pretty easy to get behind and next thing you know you’ve left out 3 months of racing. Opps. I’ll try to stay on top of it for the remainder of the season.
This past weekend was the hometown Pro XCT. I haven’t had the best of races leading up to the weekend but I was excited to have the opportunity to race in front of my friends and family and get some good momentum rolling for the rest of the season. The race took place in Pulpit Park which has plenty of fun and technical trails but unfortunately the course did not utilize most of them. I do think the course is a fun one to race because it has a little bit of everything. Tactics play into it more than normal, there is some slow technical riding and a run up that puts you in the hurt locker.
After a casual morning sipping coffee and spinning the legs on the road bike with Sofia, it was time to head over to the venue to get ready for some racing. The 2:30pm start came much quicker than the 7pm start in Missoula the weekend prior, a warm welcome. I had a front row start which allowed me to have a good start. I was sitting in the top 5 the first lap which I thought was good positioning but Todd decided to nail it early and got a descent gap on the only real technical sections. The Scott 3-Rox boys were on hard tails and couldn’t ride this section as fast as those of us on full suspension bikes so I knew this is where I needed to make my move on the next lap to bridge across to Todd if I had the legs.
I conserved energy by sitting in and on the next lap, moved to the front right before the run up and nailed it hoping I could make it across to Todd before heading out for the last half of the lap. There was a stiff headwind here so I knew if I could get across I’d be able to recover a bit and then begin helping drive the pace later on. I was able to make contact just before the feed zone, mission accomplished! Gagne also came across and for the remainder of the race it was the 3 of us trying to stay away from a group of 4; the Sho-Air boys and Scott 3-Rox boys. According to Velonews, I apparently just sat on the whole time but I thought I did my fair share of work.
I decided I would make my move on the final fire road section just before a long singeltrack section. I nailed it hard and was able to get to the single track section first. I thought as long as I kept the pace high on the short sections of double track left, I had it in the bag. I thought wrong and Gagne was able to make a somewhat sketchy pass around me. I didn’t think it was worth crashing both of us over so I didn’t shut the door on him. I ended up 2nd on the day which I was really happy with, but still a bit disappointed to be so close to grabbing a win in my home town. It was a dramatic finish as Todd and several others thought he may have nipped me on the line. I honestly don’t know as I had my head down but the officials gave 2nd to me. Sort of a dramatic finish to an XC race. Ha!
The next day was short track and I was hoping I could move up one step over yesterday. The short track was another tactical race with no one really wanting to commit to an attack and no one wanting to pull through too hard. This kept the group fairly large but I made sure to always stay positioned well and try to conserve energy. Finally on the last lap, we were still a group of 5 and I hit it on the asphalt climb. I got a bit of gap but couldn’t hold the pace allowing Keegan then Todd to make contact and jump around me. From this point on there wasn’t any passing so I just tried to hold Keegan’s wheel and came across in 3rd. Short Tracks are always a fun hard effort so it was nice to get that in the legs, and get a descent result out of it.
This race was also the final round of the US Cup series. I was able to move into 6th after the weekends result. Big thanks to Scott Tedro for putting on an amazing series, I already can’t wait for a an even bigger 2016!
Next up for me is the US National Championships in Mammoth, California! I’m looking forward to it!
Here are some links to different articles and results from the weekend:
Cross Country coverage and Photo Gallery from The Gazette
Cross Country coverage and Photo Gallery from Pro Velo Passion
Coverage from the US Cup
Short Track coverage from The Gazette
Pro Men XC Results
Pro Women XC Results