Too much snow at Sundance so Ed moved the 4th ICUP race to Soldier Hollow. We basically rode the traditional course backwards, and it was hard. There was mud at the start and finish, new cut single track, steep climbs and descents, and great single track in between. The weather looked a little iffy for the 0930 start but it proved to be prefect, and the overcast kept the temperature in a very tolerable range. Much cooler, and easier to handle, than Mesa Verde last weekend.
I toed the line with the Single Speed group again with the lofty goal, as at Desert Rampage, to not be DFL. There were only six guys in the category so I was questioning if I had set my goal too high. As it turned out, I finished 5th and 3rd and 4th were within 2 minutes of me. Not that I could make up that time or anything, but I felt good that they didn't kick my ass and make me look like a poser and sissy-man. I have to admit though, I was gassed and could not have gone 1 second faster. The winner, Dan, cleaned house and my Mad Dog teammate Scott Billings came in a strong 2nd. Nice job Scott!
My gear choice was 32x21 which served me well on all but 4 hills, which I walked, but it was very deficient on the flats and long downhills. My only problem is if I had gone with a 20, I'd be dead. So, it is what it is and I'm going with the 21 next weekend when we race the course in the traditional direction. I just hope my legs recover and I can step it up a bit.
Overall I lacked snap and my legs have not recovered from last weeks effort. I took it easy this week but I just need more time. I actually felt better on my 2nd lap today than the first and was surprised to see the 2nd was about 2.5 minutes slower. At least my mental outlook was good and that got me through it.
As for the race, I started out at the back of the pack and stayed in touch going up the first long steep climb. I passed a Canyon rider half way through the 1st lap and smiled because I was no longer last. I kept in touch with two other guys in front of me and hung about 10-20 seconds behind them through lap 1.
Beginning lap 2 I was still in 5th place, but that was okay because I was not DFL. 3rd and 4th were still in view, so that was good too. Then half way through lap 2 on a long gradual uphill the Canyon dude passed me like I was taking a nap! Crap! Now I'm DFL, and I'm hurting, bad. I kept mashing the pedals with more purpose now and set my sights on the tatted due ahead of me. I finally caught up to him a few hundred yards before the summit and he was barely alive. That was good :-) And right in front of him, within 20 yards of me, was the blue shirt dude. Nice. I'm gonna pass both and ride home to glory.
Wrong! The tatted due was toast and me fell off the pace. The blue shirt dude got his second wind just before the summit and he commenced to bitch slap me back to reality. I never saw him again! I think he came in about 1 minute ahead of me and Canyon due was 2 minutes ahead.
But I wasn't DFL, so all's well that ends well.
After I got home and cleaned my bike and got things in order, I sat down for a bite to eat. That was a mistake! I started relaxing and dozed off in to zombie land and just got mobile again about 45 minutes ago. And now that I'm done with this, I'm gonna go back to zombie land until tomorrow morning.
Can't say I'm looking forward to next weeks race.
5 weeks ago