01 August, 2010

Overdue race reports: Mountainview and Buckwallow O-Cups

Since these come many weeks after the events I will omit lots of details.


Carpooled up to Midland with Kerton and De Cal, straight to the venue on Saturday to preride. Some new singletrack was added compared to the 2009 course and this year I would be racing the full 1:30 course with "Glassford's Grind" included. A grind it was - this course has so much potential to be a good one for me save for all the climbing. With a couple large climbs per lap it really didn't suit me and I knew my race would be hard.

Hard it was, with no really good feelings at any point. My usual 3rd/4th lap gas/cramping made climbing pretty tough. Another one down... at least I finished this one.


Another Saturday preride, I found Buckwallow much as I remembered it from last year except I was riding a lot better. With the suspension fork on my bike this year the descents were very manageable and a lot of fun. A couple lines were giving me trouble. In the end I got all but one (in the 1:30 only section) figured out, and decided I would run that one in the race

Nice prime rib dinner in Carnarvon and a quiet evening at teammate Jarrod's parents' cabin.

Race day came and I started to observe the carnage that this course seems to cause for the racers. Broken bikes, broken bodies and broken spirits. It really is a race of attrition for all but the best bike handlers.

I got off to a good start but was surprised how fast I got swarmed. At the first small climb after the LONG FLAT doubletrack start I was in the bottom 25% but not too concerned. I found myself battling back and forth with Zoltan and he got by on the long rocky climb taking a cleaner line (forcing me off mine? no hard feelings though). Lap 2 I reeled him in and focussed on riding cleanly. By the end of the lap I had a small gap so I hit the gas HARD when I got on the start stretch of doubletrack and opened up a nice margin. Around this time i passed Shawn who usually doesn't hold me off this long, so he seemed to be having a good race. Spent the rest of the lap padding said margin so I could ride lap 4 at a more relaxed pace.

Lap 4 was going well, just finishing it up when Shawn caught back up to me with about 2 k to go. I was holding a pretty good pace until the large rock obstacle in the very last section of singletrack. I came over the top of it as I had probably 6 or 7 times prior that weekend but something happened and I was over the bars and sliding down some very abrasive Canadian shield rock. I let out a good shout of pain, enough to convince some spectators my leg was broken (it was also mighty tangled in my frame) but eventually collected myself and soft pedaled the last 500m or so to the line. While down Shawn who was right on my wheel at the time passed, as did one other from my category apparently. Damn, robbed of 22nd place ;)

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