Whether it is the possibility of winning an actual medal in the state Championship race, the fact that Solitude is one of the races where you actually feel your mountain bike skills are being tested, or the challenge of a good climb, this race draws more competitors than many of the other late season races. We saw a lot of our friends and teammates and even, a yeti, or rather, Sly Fox dressed as a yeti handing out $1 bills to the racers.
The Expert Women cat has 6 racers; a good turnout. Off the start line...
Women's Expert start. Photo by Lyna Saffel.
...I was in 2nd, but fell to 3rd by the entrance to the singletrack. One gal was right behind me on the first singletrack descent, and passed me straight away on the road climb up to the feed station.
Photo by Lyna Saffel.
That put me in 4th, but I nudged past her on the rest of the climb to regain 3rd place. Just before the second singletrack section, a Rooster's rider passed me, so now I was in 4th again. I am ashamed to say it, but I thought to myself, 4th is OK today because then I don't have to stick around for awards and can get back to packing at the house. That is not the attitude of a winner!
I felt pretty good for the whole race, but because I had lost site of the girl ahead of me and had put time on the girl behind me, I probably slacked off the pace a little and never felt like I was pushing at max effort. The technical sections went well on the first lap, but by the second and third (a half lap), I was not on my game and slowed down a bit. I also felt like my headset was loose or something, so I was tentative on the rough course. I found out afterward that it was slightly loose, but also, the rear brake was rubbing badly.
Well, apparently attitude is everything, because 4th is exactly where I ended up.
Drew said the rough course beat him up pretty badly on the hardtail, but he still had fun and ended up happy with his performance.
We stuck around for awards anyway before heading back down to finish packing up the kitchen so Adam can demo the wall between the kitchen and dining room next week while we are gone. I got the cabinets picked out too, so that aspect of the remodel can be worked on while we are gone.
I tapped this post out mid flight on our nine and a half hour plane ride to Germany and posted it as soon as we arrived at Drew's brother's house in Stuttgart. Drew is entered in the TranALPS Challenge 8-day mountain bike stage race. We should be able to keep regular blog posts while we are away, so check back often.