Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Island Cup #1

Second race of the year was Island Cup #1 at the Dump in Victoria... and I wasn't really sure what my goal was. I should have been more confident like Mike Tyson and told everyone on the start line that I wanted to eat their children, but instead I just kept quiet like a little wuss and pulled up to the start line in the third row. (Thanks to Shanks who pushed me up to the second row just before the start). I was already making excuses and telling myself that I was tired from a 3h MTB ride the day before, and a 2h ride out to the race, but I need to tell myself to toughen up more.

I knew there would be lots of people flying (like Carter who's been crushing everyone on the local rides, Trace who manhandles everyone on a weekly basis (figuratively, not literally) and Cory who just won a 24 hour race in the states), but I thought I might have a chance to be up in the mix. I waited a minute or so after the start to move up, and slowly worked my way to the front. I got on Trace's wheel through the first singletrack section, and we were riding in second and third. I had a chance to go by him on a tricky rocky climb, and I led the chase for the lead about 5-10 min into the race.

Steve Noble had a decent little gap on Trace and myself, but when I led Tyler through the singletrack I was able to close most of it before a longer section of fireroad. Just as I was closing the gap to ten or twenty meters, Steve's chain broke, and I was left in the lead with 2.5 laps to go.

Photo credits to Brad Head
I wasn't sure if I wanted the lead. An hour TT by myself? With my wuss brain always thinking that I would be caught, or that someone would close the gap to me. But I just kept riding steady and tried not to push too hard so I could save something for the last lap. It turned out that I was fine riding solo. I built up a solid lead of around 3 min, but then with half a lap to go I saw that my front tire was going soft, and my tire sealant was spurting out trying to fill the hole. It sealed it a little, so then I stopped to add some air and the whole thing went flat. I didn't think I was that far from the finish so I started running. What usually is fast on a bike though, is very slow by foot. I got close to the finish and thought I could still win, but then three riders passed me with a few hundred meters to go. I didn't even make the podium.

I guess it could have been worse; I could have been riding slow and had no mechanical problems. Or I could have been bouncing off trees in the singletrack instead of riding like a boss, which I think I was. Anyways, there's lots of racing to go, and now I'm stoked to get out on the new Norco and carve up the trails like a piece of celebratory pie that I'll crush at the finish.

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