This race was day and night from the Mohican of two weeks ago. Being mostly single track, about 98%, there was really no time you could go on auto pilot. Also doing 4 laps of the same thing you could really learn the course and ride more aggressively as the day went on. Another huge difference was this course got better in the rain, except for a section about a quarter mile long that turned into a two foot deep bog.
Another 7:00 a.m. road sprint start, I heard some one saying that we were going 37 miles an hour. Somehow after a mile and a half Dejay and I were in the top 15 turning onto the trail. I’m not sure why but Dejay wanted to sprint to the corner turning into the trail head parking lot. This left him a little winded for the firs “big” climb of the race. As I caught Dejay I could tell he was already at his limit so I did a little push and got in to the the lead group of eight. Harlan Price, Jeff Schock, Chris Eat of a plate, a few others and I did the first 20 miles together before I was removed from the back of the group to settle into my pace.
The course was not suited to my riding style, as I perform better when there are long extended climbs. It was flat with a few short punchy climbs, none longer that maybe two minutes. I picked a pretty good gear that kept me moving at a good clip on the flats but I bogged down on the hills, I guess I need a little more power in my legs if I want to run a big gear like that again.
A few miles into the second lap I caught one of the top 7 who had stopped to get some relief. We worked together for most of that lap(well I drafted him most of the time). Then he got away and I was alone again. Around the same place that I caught the speedgoat rider I had to pee too, I stopped and then I was caught by the second place singlespeed rider. He followed me for most of the lap and dropped me at about the same spot that everyone else had on the previous laps. I took a short section to refuel to make it sure I made it through the last lap.
The last lap was pretty crowded, most of the people were great about getting out of the way but a few slowed me down for longer than I would have liked. All said and done… I finished in 9th place(I thought I was in 8th) 7 hours, 58 minutes and a few seconds. Less that a minute back from the first place single speeder. Only about 50 minutes back from the overall winner.