14 April 2008 | Race Reports
The Fruita XC race was yesterday and the conditions were perfect- warm but not hot, completely dry trails and tons of racers. The first couple of miles of the course were slightly downhill through a sandy wash and I figured it was going to be pretty fast. I lined up at the back of the semi-pro men’s field hoping to avoid any early-race chaos or crashes.
The start went well, and I was just beginning to move up as the field strung out…and then my front derailleur twisted and my chain was rubbing A LOT. I tried shifting into a few other gears to see if maybe I could find a few that didn’t cause the chain to rub on the derailleur, but no luck there. I stopped, frantically took out my tool, and tried to loosen the clamp with extremely shaky hands (we’re only 3 mins into the race and my heart rate is jacked). I was all panicky at first, but then I realized that the fastest way to fix it would be to calm down and take my time, so I loosened the bolt, twisted the derailleur back into place, made sure that I could ride in my big and middle rings without any rubbing, tightened it back up and was on my way.
I settled into a steady hard pace and began to pick people off. The first section of the course was all wide fire-road, but the far part of the course was a big singletrack loop and there wasn’t much passing. The pro women started 2 mins in front of the semi-pros and a bunch of the Juniors passed me when I was stopped, so there was a lot of traffic in the singletrack. A few guys were going for some pretty gonzo passes, but I took my time and tried not to be a jerk when I was passing folks. My legs felt good, and as the race went on I caught more and more people, but the race was short (my finishing time was about 1:18:00) and I ended up 27th.
I was really pleased with how I felt, but a bit disappointed that I didn’t get a chance to really race the fast semi-pro guys. I would have liked to see how I stack up in such a strong group (I think there were about 40 guys). Oh well. It was good training in any case and the course was REALLY fun. I was very impressed with the organization and quality of both the races (TT and XC) in Fruita, and I look forward to racing there again.
So I have an easy day today.
The New Belgium Short Track races start next Tuesday. If they are anything like the New Belgium ‘cross races, they are going to be a good time so I hope lots of folks show up!