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mutaullyassuredsuffering
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The second race. Time to live up to the high expectations of the first…. The second and final race of the RPM Spring Series at Chalk Creek…

After winning by a big margin versus a small field during week one, I knew the second race wasn’t going to go quite as easily when I saw the parking lot. This dirt lot was packed… (this is a relative term as 35 cross country racers showed up for the last one) Three weeks ago it was snowing on the front range and in the low 30’s at the race venue. This week it was 80 degrees and sunny, and everyone was apparently in the mood to race.

I was challenged a bit on this one because after my normal eating and drinking ritual, I was starving 45 min before race start, and my hydrated state changed quickly, after gulping another bottle of water post warm up and eating another trio of cliff blocks it was time to line up. My stomach felt like crap and there were over 20 riders to compete against in Sporto. Of the competition, was my training partner, Boni, who although 16 years older than me, can keep up with me on all rides. Also there is my buddy Marshall, whom I conned into trying his first race, and Jason, a fast guy I raced against last year.

My training buddy would be a challenge because he has really been riding well. On our last few training rides, I’ve been struggling to keep up. A win for him would be incredible against we youngsters. Jason was also a worry because he really came on strong at the end of last year. He totally smoked me at Telluride, and if it wasn’t for me being a faster descender might have got me a Keystone as well. Both of us “upgraded” into the 30-35 class together which really kept us from considering the double jump to expert.

Right off the bat it was a battle. Unlike last time when we just took off down the slightly downgrade fireroad and split the group, everyone hung in tight pack. I picked my way into 2nd when the climbing started, but it took a toll. My stomach was feeling like crap and my heartrate was a bit higher than I would have liked to start the climb. We got to the beginning of the short loose climb (that is the primary motivator for being in the lead early), and the guy in front of me doesn’t even try the climb. He just dismounts in the middle of the trail and starts walking up! Now we have a train of 6 or 8 riders forced to walk in a line… This hill was where I left the field behind last time…no such luck today…this is going to be a battle!

The before mentioned rider stayed in front on the singletrack and was pulling 1 mph slower than I would like, again letting the field stay tight. The 3rd place rider and myself manage to pass him (he went first around both of us), and I find myself in second again behind a guy on a HT. He was really pushing a strong pace, but whenever we hit cobbles he was slowed down noticeably...again no good separation. I hung behind him all the way up to the return point, and on the way back down he got into a bit of a relaxed recovery pace on the slight downgrade. I looked back and saw 4 riders within a few hundred feet. I couldn’t pass, so I started “motivating” him by telling him to speed up. Finally, a mile or two later I pass the guy and take off back to the start/finish for lap 2.

At this point I thought I was finally alone, but when I look back, there is Jason. Oh Crap… Here I am pushing hard and desperately still wanting to hurl from my overeating/under-drinking and he just popped out of nowhere....We rode together for most of that lap, actually chatting. At one point I asked him if he wanted to pass because he was having an easier time talking than I was… I thought he was just cruising along on my rear wheel waiting to crush me…. He replied something to the effect that I was pushing a pace with the intention of killing everyone else and that he was just fine where he was. We were both gearing up to have a sprint-to-the-death-finish in our minds…and kinda looking forward to it.

When I decided this was our fate, a lone expert appeared in front of us. Opportunity! I sped up my pace to pass this guy, and just before the trail started its fast descent back down a trail with no passing opportunities, I snuck past, leaving Jason behind him. I kicked it up a notch and went for the jugular. Two miles later, I crossed the finish 40ish seconds ahead for the win. The rest of the pack started coming in 2 to 3 minutes later including my riding buddy for 5th or 6th. Marshall, riding his 30+ pound 6 inch travel “bob-wagon”, came in at the end. Still, I think he was less than 10 minutes back. What a relatively even, and brutal playing field…Glenzx was right…CO riders pull fitness out of their butts when the ski areas close.

After wanting to hurl for an hour and being in a bit of agony I was completely satisfied. It was fun to win one by strategy and luck, over fitness. I cut 1 minute per lap off my time from last race, so my fitness appeared to improve a bit as well. I know that Boni is going to kick some butt being only 3 minutes back from the fastest sport age group, Jason is going to be an even match all season, especially if he sped up his descending this spring. Marshall is hooked and is asking about lighter bike parts…Looks like I ruined another one…

Next Sunday, I have a MTB time trial in one of my favorite training areas, and then the MSC kicks off the following Saturday back at the Chalk Creek venue….no rest….

edit: The Burn TT is on Sunday..not Sat... I would have been really confused showing up alone Sat AM
 

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mutaullyassuredsuffering
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks

Thanks for the replies.... No Jason didn't have much to say other than he was stuck behind that guy for a while, and when he broke free, he saw me a couple hundred yards away. He just coasted into the finish so our gap was probably closer... He was looking forward to a sprint for the finish as well....

We will have a rematch at that same course again in two weeks when the regional series begins. The results start to count at that point, so I'm expecting a battle with him and the other fast guys who pop out of thin air...
 

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Very cool

Good read! Knowing the course I felt like i was in the action with you! Looks like someone is about ready to get upgraded to expert just before the season truly begins. Here's an idea, why don't I go ahead and upgrade you for this weekend? :thumbsup:

Good job and congratulations.
 

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A win well deserved. Sounds like it's coming together - being able to cope with start-line stomach "adjustments", pace yourself correctly after that awful hike-up-an-easy-climb on lap one, and strategize a perfect pass/block nearing the end - in a word: storybook! Great snappy write-up too.

I'm really stoked to see how you do at the MSC version in 2 weeks. If you sport guys weren't starting in a seperate, earlier wave - I'm pretty sure you'd pass my slow ass in a snap! I can push an expert-level pace still, but for way less duration and pop/blow pretty quick with so few miles in this season - and virtually none on the mtbike.

Still, I'm psyched to get the series underway! And try that nutty MX stuff to boot...
 

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mutaullyassuredsuffering
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Tee Hee

preparation_h said:
Good read! Knowing the course I felt like i was in the action with you! Looks like someone is about ready to get upgraded to expert just before the season truly begins. Here's an idea, why don't I go ahead and upgrade you for this weekend? :thumbsup:

Good job and congratulations.

Thanks man!

I'm not even going to think about that until the MSC starts... I'm sure there will be much bigger "sandbaggers" than me on that starting line in two weeks, and likely this week....
 

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mutaullyassuredsuffering
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Mee too

glenzx said:
A win well deserved. Sounds like it's coming together - being able to cope with start-line stomach "adjustments", pace yourself correctly after that awful hike-up-an-easy-climb on lap one, and strategize a perfect pass/block nearing the end - in a word: storybook! Great snappy write-up too.

I'm really stoked to see how you do at the MSC version in 2 weeks. If you sport guys weren't starting in a seperate, earlier wave - I'm pretty sure you'd pass my slow ass in a snap! I can push an expert-level pace still, but for way less duration and pop/blow pretty quick with so few miles in this season - and virtually none on the mtbike.

Still, I'm psyched to get the series underway! And try that nutty MX stuff to boot...
I really don't know how it's going to go. Last season I had pretty high expecations going into the MSC from the spring series and battle the bear, and I still got hammered. I know I'm faster this year, but so is everyone else in my "new" class.....

I'll look forward to seeing you down there...even if I don't get to use you as a block:thumbsup:
 

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Awesomist™
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What a cool write up! Racing all the Gravity events, I rarely get to hear about the XC stuff that goes down, even at the races my team hosts... on behalf of myself and the RPM team, thanks goes out to ALL you pinners for coming out to our early season races, love to hear about people having a good time out on the Nathrop Ranch!
 

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mutaullyassuredsuffering
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Lone Photo

Here's the only photo I have from the race..

Boni, Me, and, Marshall...looks like a stairstep!

To the right are a couple teammates, Kalan and Dave
 

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People of zee wurl,Relax!
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Upgrade to expert

It sounds like you will have a lot more fun in expert for the MSC. If you are on the podium for both of the Spring Series races you are now sandbagging. 2 and out.
 

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trail topher said:
It sounds like you will have a lot more fun in expert for the MSC. If you are on the podium for both of the Spring Series races you are now sandbagging. 2 and out.
He's gettin' there - but rushing to upgrade this early in the season would likely not be productive - and please - this is not Sandbagging... BUT, if he smokes the Sport Cat at the MSC version in a week and a half.... well, we'll see.

FWIW - I speak from experience. I won 2 races early season a few years ago (NM Off-Road Series race, and the the Tour of the Canyonlands MSC race) as an up-and-coming sport, and after some thought and haggling - upgraded to expert.

Chalk Creek was next - and despite throwing down and racing at 100% and having a fantastic race for me - I got smoked and was mid/lower-mid pack, and began a precipitous slide through most of the season. By mid-summer I was so cooked, and the experts so strong - I was as close to DFL as I have ever been.

I should have listened to the folks that encouraged more of a wait.

Anyhow - he's a big boy and is smart, so I know if he stomps ass at CC and then at Angel Fire - time to jump up. But sport level at Chalk Creek (faster flatter) vs. the bigger climbing races in expert class later on are worlds - UNIVERSES - apart. I'd wait to see how AF goes before even considering it.


glen
 

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mutaullyassuredsuffering
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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
photo

Got another photo. A cool individual from out team was out there hiding in the bushes!
 

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mutaullyassuredsuffering
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Doh....

I flipped that thing and it flipped back on me.....

Try again....
 

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I love Pisgah
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Wow. I bet it really sucked racing in that kinda eye candy and weather.
 

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mutaullyassuredsuffering
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks Glen..

glenzx said:
Anyhow - he's a big boy and is smart, so I know if he stomps ass at CC and then at Angel Fire - time to jump up. But sport level at Chalk Creek (faster flatter) vs. the bigger climbing races in expert class later on are worlds - UNIVERSES - apart. I'd wait to see how AF goes before even considering it.


glen
That's the plan. If I do really good at AF I'll make the move; otherwise I'm going to stick with last year's lesson....I got 2nd at the RPM Spring series in Sport and was way in DFL before I crashed and became DNF at Angel Fire three weeks later. A series of lower mid-pack finishes followed that. My strength is big ring... not big climbs..... Maybe I'll see you out there Topher?
 

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People of zee wurl,Relax!
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I had to try!

This is my first year racing Sport class and I am just trying to eliminate the competition;) I'm in the 30-34 Sport class and doing all 7 races. By looking at how good your spring series went I will have a lot of competition. I am still debating on doing the Singlespeed category but will really have a tough time if I do that. Very nice bike. I'm excited for the MSC this year and I'll see you at the starting line.
 
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