Monday, April 18, 2011
I wasn't quite sure what to expect for this race. It's like a whole different scene over in Canada that I'm totally not familiar with. I knew Mike Garrigan and Semaus McGrath, but other than that, I was pretty clueless with whom was on the start line, but apparently I still had enough credibility for a front row call up which was nice. Thanks! The wind was whipping like crazy! I heard reports of gusts up to 50mph, which was a tailwind for us most of the day. The start went pretty well. I kept my nose out of the wind, and was able to stay right near the front. I still need more practice with this technique though. Comming from mountain biking, it's all about getting to the front and staying there. However in road racing, the tactics are way different and I have to admit, it's something I've struggled with over the years, especially when it's really windy. We hit the rocky two track off the rail trail, and I was right in the mix. It was hard, but my legs were doing it. With the tailwind, the group was absolutely flying along... much faster than my 39x11 would let me go. I'd bridge on the trail sections, but whenever we hit the road, I was struggling with proper positioning in the cross winds. I got caught out in the wind a couple times and would continue to get spit out the back of groups. Finally I got the hang of it and hung onto a little group in about 25th position or so. We rode together most of the race until we hit the mud slides. Finally! A place where I could use the MTB to my advantage. I ripped down the two mud slides and dropped my group. On the way to the finish I was able to snatch up a few more spots finishing 19th overall. I was pretty pleased. I got what I wanted out of the race which was a really hard race effort. I just came off another big week of hrs, so I'm happy I had enough zip in my legs to finish the race strong. If I really wanted to hang up front however, I would have been on a CX bike. My training has been quite different since I started doing 100 mile MTB races too. 5 years ago, I would've been doing short, more intense rides with lots of intervals. However I find I need quite a large base of miles to stick a 100 miler all the way to the end. The long hrs take away from my speed somewhat, but I think it's a wise trade off. I mean most of these 100 milers are going 7-8hrs with over 10,000ft of climbing. The extra miles help trim me down to size and improve my climbing efficiency immensly. It's a tricky blend being able to do well in a 100 miler, then turn around and stick it in a short fast gravel grinder. Perhaps I'll save my speed training for later in the season when the focus turns towards the tripple crown. Lets hope I can make that plan work. Next up is Cohutta in good old Ducktown TN in less than 2 weeks time. I'm looking forward to it. Thanks to the Naishy mate for driving last weekend and thanks to RBS for the sweet new kit. Oh! and thanks to Don Cumming for the ride back to Paris! Don even played frogger on the 403 to retrieve Naishy's wheel after it blew off the roof rack! Not even a scratch on the Notubes wheel... so you can run and tell that! Homeboy.