Saturday, June 21, 2008

Red Jersey Summer Race Series, Race #1

On Thursday evening the first race of the 4 race Red Jersey Summer Series was held at Whitaker Woods in North Conway, NH. This was my first Mountain Bike Race of the season and I had no idea how I was going to do. I got to the race early enough to pre-ride the course and as I got about half way around the course a friend who was riding it with me pucked up a stick with his rear deraileur and turned it into a prtezel. He started his walk back to the parking lot and I figured his evening was over.

The course was reletively non-technical but had a fair amount of climbing per lap. Each lap was about 2.7 miles long and started out going straight up right from the start line. My class was doing three laps and so I was pacing myself for the first climb trying to turn as large a gear as I could and keep from going into the red. I turned my first lap in about 17 minutes. There was not really many spots where you could open it up due to the climbing or the amount of rooty sections as the entire race is set in an old pine forest. At a certain point you just cannot maintain a line or sem to keep the bike on the ground.

Once I finished my first lap I had a better idea on how to ride the next two laps. I rode the initial climb as hard as I could and figured I could try to recover afterwards. I was riding in a pack of 3 other riders and we were all moving to the front and then getting passed but no one was getting dropped. I finished my second lap in about 16 minutes.

For my last lap I tried to climb the first hill as fast as I could. Two ot the three other riders stayed with me as we lost one who was out of gas. At the top of the climb I tried to grab my water bottle and almost tipped over and the other tow guys passed me. AS we continued around the last lap they were able to get about a 50 yard gap on me. As we entered the last 1/4 mile stretch it is pretty flat except for the roots. I decided I would try to make a mad dash for the line with about 200 yards to go and pass the two other guys with 50 yards or so to the line hoping they would not see me coming and not be able to react quick enough. I was pushing my big ring as hard as I could and my strategy ended up working out as I slipped by and across the line in front of the other two guys. I ended up finishing in just about 48 minutes.

It was a fun race and nice way to start off the summer season. After a turkey wrap from Matty B's it was time for awards. As the called the places for third and then second I realized I had placed first. It was a cool beginning of the season to hop onto the top spot of the podium. Hope to repeat it again in the coming weeks but also realized I have much wok to do to get ready for the 24 Hours of Great Glen in August.


1 comment:

bluecolnago said...

sweet! congrats on the top spot!