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So here it is. Sorry for the delay.
7 August 2004 held the XC Norba National Race Series at Snowmass Village outside of Aspen. 4 weeks earlier, the Mountian States Cup Series held their race at the same venue. When I raced the course 4 weeks earlier, I managed to finsih 2nd (30-34 Beginner)after having lost the race by a sweet tactical move from Paul Mar on the last .2 of a mile. For nationals, I was expecting their to be a lot of talent in all classes. As it turns out, unless you are in expert, there were actually less. In any case.
We arrived on Friday afternoon to a different vibe. 4 weeks earlier, I didn't know where to go, or what to expect. This time, I was feeling lika a vet. Drove up to the Wildwood to find some parking. The closest we coould get was parking lot 11. Wildwood is in front of #8. No big deal, except for the fact that the hill is something like a 10% grade that you either had to walk or bike. uggh.
Did a prerun to the first downhill after the fire road and felt pretty good. Looked back to find my coach/rider Chuck B. Wasn't there. Man I'm fast... (JK :D ) Started going back down and ran into a few others and they said, "...hadn't seen a soul..." Not good. Turns out his back seized and he went down to relax at the Pizza Bar. No worries. Back to the room, changed some clothes, and off to Pasta 'o Pizza for some carbs. Good place. Just wish the Ukranian server (same one from 4 weeks ago) would relax and stop apologizing. I got the feeling that she is new, and not used to the large crowds that the bike racing would bring into town. Met Chuck's friend Lynn Otte from Bend, Or. This girl rocks, she's a Pro Snowboarder, rides Pro Downhill and Shorttrack. Tough girl, and put ChuckB in his place on many occassions. ;)
Anyways, race morning came fast. Up at 5, quick shower, 2 packs of oatmeal, 16oz of Cytoval and it was time to head down for the warmup. 4 weeks ago, I learned that I could get a great warmup for 30 minutes just spinnin around the hills. As I get to Start/Finish I realize that the Start/Finish is a bit different than the MSC race. Instead of starting up and to the right. We head up and left. That part was kinda cool, because it helped reduce the bottleneck after the first right turn. The course runs like this... first 4 miles are straight uphill. First 2 miles consist of the fire road up from the base, to the first downhill up another fire road, 2 miles of switchback and finally at mile 5, the feed zone. Bare in mind the first 5 miles are 1500 ft. Anaerobic for about 40 minutes. Sport and above probally 30. Half a mile more of climbing, then the fun starts. Rolling downhill, through trees, then to a technical rocky section. I wish I could do this better. I'm sure I lost a good 3 minutes negotiating this stuff. Anyone who has ran this, I'm up for some tips. :rolleyes: Through the rocks and then 4 more miles of Rolling singletrack through the trees. I lock up the front fork, and run it like a short track race. Love that part. Out to the fast downhill, and the finish. I managed to get way confused on this part. Last time we came down the fire road at 30+mph veered right and sprinted to the line. This time I come down doin' 30+mph, see a fence... uh oh :( hit the breaks, ask the official "...where's the finish?!" he points and says back up the hill. I shift down,hammer the hill, cut back to the Start/finish to find a 90 degree switchback... oh well, no sprints for this finish. Cross the line, look at the watch and realize I took 4 minutes off my time from 4 weeks ago. Nice!!!
I head up to the room for a shower and to check out. Head back down to find the results. As I'm headin down I run into into Tony from Pedalmashers. He asks how'd I do. I say I don't know, but I finished in 1:38. He says, u got 4th. I'm thinkin, Nice I wanted to win but I'll take 4th. Head to the results, wait a tic, I finished 1rst in my class. (Tony thought we were in the same class as I have tried to grab his wheel in the last 3 MSC's) Nice! Kept missin first place after placing 4, 9, 3 2,2 at the MSC's, now I got it, and it's at Nationals! I know, time to move up... I'll address that in a sec.
Called the wife, she's stoked. Even let's me stay another night to celebrate, and get my award.
Now let me address a few things to "LANCE RISSI" and his NORBA SUCKS post. I did stick around for my award. Provided it took 2 hours before they got to us beginners, but it's that way for every race. I see you got 3rd in a time of 1:16. Nice job!!! That would have gotten you 2nd or 3rd at the MSC with 2x as many riders. I have to move up to sport and my time would have gotten me 10th at Nationals and 27 of 29 at the MSC's. Clearly I have some work to do, but "nothing is worth doing unless you have to work for it!" As for your hotel... not sure how you got took, but oh well.
I thought the even was sweet. Provided it was a drag that the pro team trailers were separated by Condo's from the hill, but if you took the time to walk over, the wrenches were super cool, and the pro area was cool as well. The reps that wew scattered around were great. $20 for Kenda XC tire is a screamin deal. The GU rep hooked me up with a new bottle and a recovery drink mix. Also got a pro deal from ZEAL optics. Check out their sight at www.zealoptics.com. Interchangebale lenses, sweet frames, and under $100.
Let me "Shout out" to the following:
SMBA Team Riders: THese Jr's are unreal! Jr X and Semi Pro riders, with ton of heart and desire for pain. Congrats to Sam C for winning the JRX Short Track! Thanks to Adam(SMBA's Wrench) for working on my bike and dialin' it in! Talk about a young man with a bright future. Thanks to ChuckB for all the advice this year. Timmy B for Team Dean, spinnin jsut because! Thanks Lynn for the connection to ZEAL Optics. You rock. I serioulsy doubt there are many people that can do Downhill and then switch to Pro Short Track on the same day!
Finally, I know... Move Up! 1 more race to lock in the yellow jersey for the MSC and then I'll get my Floggings from Bockman and many other way talented riders.
See ya on the hill and remember... Keep the rubber side down! :cool:
---Sorry No PICS. Couldn't figure out how to resize it.
 

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Great Job! Still not sure what the heck the finish did there.... you went up the hill instead of down at that right-turn to the dirt road, compared to the MSC race? Then cut across the mountain another way? Your time was similar to my sport class time last year, think I did it in 1:36 or so..... so you'll do OK, especially if you stay fit this winter!


Also glad to get a perspective from someone other than "Rissi" from someone with a more balanced perspective and an experienced point of view! And SHHHHH! Don't tell everyone about the deals at the National races! That's our secret! Definately cool to peruse the expo areas....

When will you be in Expert then? :)

FWIW, I was bummed at the Snowmass MSC race mainly because I was so floord at doing the first lap in 1:12 before being taken away in an ambulance...... still not that fast, as I see Len Zanni smoked the 30-34 expert class doing 2 laps in like 2:10 or so, like he's been doing the whole MSC series this year!

Excellent write-up, see you in Keystone then?
 
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