There's something about racing in the fall that just gets me fired up. Maybe it's the anticipation that there's only a few races left in the season, or maybe it's just that clean crisp air. Whatever it is, Peak 2 Peak at Crystal Mountain had it this past weekend. The weather was absolutely perfect and the fall colors were peaking. Endoman promotions did a fantastic job of setting up the venue, I was impressed. They went the extra mile to make the event feel like everyone racing was important. The trail was super fun and it was a great warm up for the Iceman. Drafting seemed effective on fast flatter sections of the trail, just like the beginning of Iceman.
The start of the race quickly thinned out to 3 of us which was me, Mike Anderson, and Derek Graham on the 1st lap. I had no idea how long the last climb was, so I attacked on the bottom slopes and severly paid for it at the top where Mike Anderson slipped away with a 5 second gap. Luckily Derek and I were able to close it at the bottom. 2nd lap we traded pulls back and forth until the big climb at the end. This time I waited until the top to put in an acceleration. I got a gap, which Mike Anderson closed by the top. We lost contact with Derek on the decent, and it was down to me and Mike Anderson for the win. I took a pretty hard pull to distance ourselves from Derek. Near the end of the lap, I asked Mike to come thru. I could sense he was tired and went around him. I quickly opened up the gap and held on for the win.
I'll definately be back next year. The course is great for attracting riders from all discilpines of the sport as it seems to have something for everyone. Plus I'm also a big fan of racing on SATURDAY because it gives us a chance to still have a weekend after the race.
Monday, October 6, 2008
The kick-off to Iceman training has officially begun. Cyclocross is great way to get in some lung seering efforts and bring out that final edge for the end of the MTB season. This year Stoney Creek was no exception. I decided to skip the UCI race this year since they won't let me ride my MTB, so I had no prior preperation for Stoney. I hopped the barriers a couple times in warm up and I was good to go. The pace of the race was instantly uncomfortable. We hit the beach and I decided to ride it. Big mistake. I totally redlined my heart rate and completely blew up trying to get to the other side. After a bit of recovery, I worked my way back up to Tim Saari and John Card. They kept working me over on the beach every lap, until I finally copied John's method to running with the bike. What a huge improvement! John ended up having some trouble in the end which left it down to me and Tim on the final lap. I bridged up to him on the run across the beach and got around him with a ginger elbow tap. Michael Wissink and Jeff Weinart were long gone off the front and I rolled in for 3rd. It was a fun race and I can't wait to get out there for some more racing. This weekend Michelle and I are headed off to Iron Cross in Southern PA. It's a 62 mile CX race up and down 6300ft of rolling mountains. Sounds brutal... I can't wait!