6 March 2012 | Race Reports
PRO XCT #1: Mellow Johnny’s Race Report
If the race was only one lap long, I would have won!
Racing already? Yup. The first race snuck up on me pretty quick there, but I always look forward to racing at Mellow Johnny’s- the races are well-organized and well-attended, and this year’s race didn’t disappoint. The new venue provided plenty of fun, technical trails, and the weather couldn’t have been better. After spending January and February in Colorado it was nice to ditch the jackets, arm and leg warmers and ride dry trails. My skills were a little rusty, but I guess that’s to be expected. So….
I got a great start and led going into the first section of singletrack. I wanted to set a hard enough pace that things would string out, but I kept a little in the tank in case someone attacked. After a few minutes our lead group had whittled down to five riders, but everyone seemed content to sit in behind me.
As we came through the start/finish, Catharine went to the front and upped the pace. Emily was right on her wheel followed by me, Katie and Judy. After a few minutes I was hurting a little, and I started to let a gap open up. Katie went around me, but I was able to stay on her wheel…until we hit a super bumpy section and I ended up riding off the trail, through a stream and up an embankment. (I guess my “save it” reflex wasn’t too rusty). I jumped off my bike, jumped back over the stream just as Judy was riding by, got back on my bike and headed off to try and get back in the mix.
After a few minutes I caught up to Emily who had flatted, but Judy, Katie and Catharine were nowhere in sight. As I started the third lap, I could hear someone catching up to me, my heart sank a little and I started to get kind of negative. (You know, that feeling where you are trying hard, but it seems inevitable that everyone in the race is going to catch up to you? I hate that.) Pua caught up to me and passed me, but I was able to stay with her…right up until I made another mistake, almost crashed and lost her wheel. I managed to pull it together and finish in one piece, but it certainly wasn’t the result I was looking for.
I guess that’s part of the whole first-race-of-the-season thing: you never know how it’s going to go until you get out there. Hopefully I got some of the kinks out before the first big race. Now I am looking forward to a few days riding my mountain bike at home before I head to South Africa for the first World Cup. And so it begins…