O'Hill Melt Down

For the weekend of April 29th, most of the DCMTB\City Bikes team was racing the Greenbier UCI rated race, I was representing down in Charlottesville. I was doing a cabin weekend with some friends not far from there so I decided to leave there early on Sunday and do this race. I was not feeling my best, I had some stomach issues I figured I would be OK for the race length. So I get to the race, and the turnout wasn't as large as they usually get(oldest MTB race int he state 17 years) they said. I debated about signing up for expert, but decided to see how I did in this race to see what category I should ride so I signed up for sport. So the Experts went off a minute ahead of us and then we started the race at the bottom of a paved road climb that we would do to get to the trail. I usually can start fast and this kind of start was right up my boat a road hill climb. We start off(I think 20 in the class), and there is one guy in front of me, and I then pass him on the road climb a little bit before I get to the trail. I am off on the trail, I did not pre-ride the trail so I have no clue what the trail was going to bring. I knew from reading on line it was like Fountainhead, and Gambril together, with more steep hills was right on target. So I am doing the course and Passing the female experts, and one or two expert vets. After about 3miles of a 14mile race, I was so anaerobic, I had to let up a little. I knew I wouldn't be able to keep this up for the full race. I had some people on my tail that I let pass, then I passed them later that same lap. I had a guy who was able to get up this steep section behind me, I gave him the trail since it looked like he was going to clear something I didn't. He was going good until he got right level with me, then I heard Hisssss. He flatted so I was still in the lead. I let a guy pass me who was a light guy like 145 he had me on some of the hill sections. There is a Powerline climb that is brutal, in the fact that you can do it, just not in a race. The first lap I made it halfway before dabbing and walking up it. The second lap, I made it 3/4 the way and that made me think that you could clear it if you didn't blow yourself out on the course. So I was thinking that I was in second place, and I saw some guy behind me so I was just thinking I got to keep this position. I passed an expert Vet guy Scott who I was trailing for allot of the race. The last half of the last lap I was trying to catch the 1st place single speed guy. I was pretty shocked at how well he could ride the course with one gear. In the end I kept my 2nd place and was a minute behind first. This was the hardest course I have ever raced on. I think my riding up at Liberty Furnace in the beginning of April helped, with the rocky downhill sections. I also have to be thankful I didn't flat, with all the rocks I was flying over. I would definitely do this race again, just not go out quite as hard in the beginning. The question is if I should race expert at Walnut creek on May 20th, I will look at the expert times and decide.

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