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190lbs of climber
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1,538 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Season's over--time for a write-up
Downieville XC
I had a decent start, but was unable to work my way to front and follow Mark Weir to top as was my plan. I started a few lines back from the pros and just could make it to the front, but it was probably for the better. Ten minutes in Nate (natebyrom) pulled up next to me so I held his wheel for six or seven minutes before pulling ahead again.

At the water station I pulled a gel out of my pocket and sucked it down. Last year I cramped pretty bad at the top, so this time I was prepared. I grabbed a water bottle from the station also, to supplement the 50oz of water in my camelbac and 20oz of gatorade in my bottle. The gel did the trick, and this year I was able to continue into the trees without cramping. I was going back and forth with Ariel Lindsey from Maverick at this point, and didn't want to beat to the top by a guy with one ring up front. (Of course I later found out that his low gear was lighter than mine--36:34 to my 29:27.) I was at the top in 1:01:30.

On the rolling fireroad out to Babyheads I sucked another gel and dropped hammer on Ariel, entering the start of the downhill with nobody in sight. I passed a few faster climbers on babyheads, unlike last year when I was getting passed. Damn I'm fast! Of course, at that moment Ariel shot by like a rocket, putting me back in my place. I swear he just flew out of a tree or something, I didn't even see him coming.

I blasted the rest of the downhill, passing people along the way I was about to make another move on the climb after the bridge when I felt cramps starting, so I shifted back and spun them out without losing a place. Then came the "jedi forest" sections, probably my favorite section of trail anywhere. I blasted down at tear shedding speeds, passing two more riders.

I played it safe by the cliffs on 3rd Divide, and got caught and passed by a rider who had been fixing a flat earlier. He quickly slipped out of sight, but he was only the second rider to pass me the entire downhill, so I was ok with that.

I caught three more guys on the mile of singletrack before the pavement, and then dropped them on a small climb somewhere in there. At one point I actually had to let them pass me again since they were yelling at me for going too slow in the areas with exposed slopes, but I passed them for good on the final singletrack climb.

I hit the road in a full roadie-tuck, hands on the bars near the stem and head down, thankful for the close ratios of my 12-27 cassette. There was nobody around, but I went for it anyways, hoping to take as much time off last year as possible. But there, ahead of me, was the guy who dropped my on 3rd Divide twenty minutes before. I blew by him on one of the small rises before the finish, and swooped in at 2:08 and change, about 11 minutes faster than last year! I later found out that I was the second Expert and 14th overall to finish! Some 35-40 expert sandbagger actually got fifth overall! I hope I'm that fast still when I'm older. I was super stoked at beating all those pros and taking so much time off of last year's 2:19 time, and more so because Rob Roskopp and Mike ( the marketing guy, Ferrentino, I think) from Santa Cruz were there to see. Hopefully that'll help with support next year, when I move out of the Jr. ranks.

More later.. gotta go pack my bike for the flight home from
 

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err, 27.5+
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Nice write up. I was surprised to see you climb back up the road to where I was taking pictures. Glad to hear that your weekend went so well :thumbsup:
 

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Too Much Fun
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2,320 Posts
Kick Azz

Thats phenomenal. Great write up to an incredible race. Inspirational stuff. :thumbsup:
 

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Nice job, and I'm hoping...

that's a bit of joking/sarcasm about that old guy (Chuck Ross). :) When you get "old" and have a family to support, you get a free pass on being called an "Expert sandbagger." :nono:
 

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190lbs of climber
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, I meant to pay him a compliment by calling him that. I guess I meant to say that I hope to be called a sandbagger too when I'm racing at the masters level.
I just got back from Vermont, I'll do the write-up tomorrow since it's 2 am for me now.
 

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I figured as much

get some rest and I look forward to your national report. Again, nice job!
 
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