Dave and I headed to Snowmass Saturday and went out for an easy lap on the course during the afternoon so I knew what to expect. Then after dinner we took the "classy" route for the night and slept in the always spacious neon.
More from the pre-ride
Sunday morning, I had breakfast in bed before getting ready for the day. (By breakfast in bed, I mean I fired up the camp stove without getting out of my sleeping bag :)) For the race, Dave and I were sharing pit space with Matt and Jeni - Thanks again guys! - so we got things organized and I warmed up.
Towards the end of lap 7, I overcooked a bad line in a rough rock garden and pinch flatted my rear tire, so I fixed it and continued on. The next few laps were tough. I always have a few bad laps around the 2/3 point of a race, between keeping things together mentally and physically I always seem to have a "blah" point in races. Also, the underlying fatigue of the past two weeks started to creep up on me. Then at the start of the final downhill on lap 9, I was caught by Lance and got the chance to follow his wheel for most of the downhill in the woods. He was cranking, and it was super cool following him! He even overcooked a turn and almost few off a bridge into the woods! Also, the new Trek he was riding was crazy smooth on the rough bits.
For the few minutes I kept up, it was awesome.
After that, I was out of my mid race funk and the legs were switched back on. Dave kept me fueled and hydrated as I rolled through the pits and I stepped things up and started to hunt people down. I caught a few people and then at the start of the final lap, I heard that Matt was just a few minutes ahead of me. I was actually feeling better than I had for most the race at this point so I dug deep and told myself that I had to catch him on the climb because I would feel guilty passing him on the downhill just because I had suspension. My legs were back and I caught him close to the top. I kept cranking and crossed the line 5th in the solo class.
2nd went to the super fast Yuki Saito, who I'll be chasing again in Moab.
Seeing snow in the high country means the ski bug is back, but not before the Moab 24 next month....