I have been looking forward to racing this race all year as it is my home course and I know it well. With the rain that we had earlier in the week, the course was shaping up to be very good come race day. I hadn’t been feeling that strong most of the summer and coming into this race was not different. Earlier in the week I felt like I didn’t have any legs left… so I took time off the bike and waited for the race. Sunday morning I woke to the sound of rain on the roof. I debated not going, but if I was to hold on to my position in the points I needed to show up. It rained all morning until just after the Elite and Expert guys went out. Soon the sun was out, I was warmed up, my legs felt great, and we were off. I used a little different strategy at this race. I decided to attack the 2 track climbs instead of conserve to try and get in front of the slower guys before the roller coaster. I started out easy filing in behind my teammate Mike Riffe and was mid pack by the first climb at which point I attacked passing 4-5 people putting me behind teammate Dave Messing who was following Paul Wood, the leader. Mike must have also liked my strategy as he caught up with us during the first climb after I went by him. I hung with the leaders for the first lap and part of the second lap until we caught the back of the SS class and were separated trying to pass in the single track. I then kept a steady pace for last portion of the race… UNTIL!! Chris Matthews, the point’s leader, flew around me in the last section of 2 track. I told him that I thought I was going to finally finish ahead of him for once!! I then got it in my head that I wasn’t going to let him beat me and hammered to get on his wheel. I drafted to the top of the hill by the team tent and then put the hammer down, went around him, and didn’t look back until the finish line. He later said that it was all he could do to catch me on the 2 track and when I passed him back, I stole his MOJO!! I finished 3rd at the race and also locked up 3rd in the series in the Sport 35-39 class. This turned out to be my best race of the year as I felt good the whole race, got to race with my teammates Dave and Mike, and had a finishing race with another competitor! My wife Laurie also raced her first XC race in the beginner woman 30 – death class and WON!! I am very proud of her!!
Start of the race!!
Dave Messing leading the train!
Mike and I... doesn't Mike look determined?
Waiting for the go!! Look at those legs!
Making it look easy!!