Saturday was the Mud Madness XC at Mt.Kato…the name was quite fitting. While there were only about 15 racers, it the field included names like Hanson, Fisher, Rients, Sam O, and my brother. From the start, Paul lead us around the course. I had only ever ridden the course once before (last years MNSCS race) so I was content to let Paul show us the way on his home court. The track was very muddy and sucked every bit of energy out of the legs even on the flats…the descents induced two-wheel slides and demanded no mistakes. Fisher and Rients yo-yoed of off the back of Paul and I for three laps. Here is a picture of Paul leading Chris and I up Mt. Kato Climb for the last time.
At the top of the last Mt Kato climb I wanted to take the pace up a notch. I passed Paul, and we continued to ride together. After 10 minutes, we had a pretty good gap on Fisher and couldn’t see Rients. On the last climb, appropriately call “The Staircase,” I pushed the pace a notch higher to be sure that Fisher didn’t catch us, but the effort put Paul in the red. I was riding in the big ring (the middle ring was unusable due to the mud causing chain suck) so my pace stayed quick, and I cruised home from there. Paul came in second not to far back – he notified me that for the 1.5 hour race his average HR was 187, WOW! – Fisher rolled in behind Paul to round out the podium. Here is how I looked afterwards...
I was happy to extend the winning streak to 4 wins, but it wasn’t time to celebrate, as a TT and STXC followed on Sunday.
Saturday night we spent cleaning bikes before we headed to a friends house for a going away party…Ben and I were hungry and ate a lot of cookies with chips and salsa on the side=)
Sunday morning, we drove back to Mt. Kato. My legs were not what I would call fresh, but they weren’t completely flat. The TT was basically 2 laps of the course we did the previous day except backwards. This meant climbing up 2 sets of switchbacks that go from the bottom of the hill to the top. The same core group showed up for the TT…Ben was my 2 minute man (he started 2 min ahead of me), Fisher my one minute man, and Justin Rienhart was 1 minute behind me (he was sick and opted out of the XC on Sat). The TT went fine. I would liked to have raced the 9.9, as it is better for short hard efforts, but I had already muddied up the Fuel on the previous day so I brought that. I started out and settled in to a nice TT pace, by that I mean I was red-lined. I came across the line about 40 minutes later…12 seconds slower than Fisher! It was a great first win of the year for Chris. Justin rounded out the podium with Ben taking fourth. After the race, I felt like I was going to toss my cookies…the feeling didn’t subside so I opted out of the STXC. In that race, Fisher took his second win of the day with Justin next and Ben hot on his tail. It was actually the first expert/open class mountain bike race I have ever watched, and it was fun to see other people suffering for once=)
Summary: I raced 3 out of the last 4 days -all very intense, Got 4th win in a row, Fisher ended the streak and had a great day Sunday, and Ben was flying both days and will a force to be reckoned with in the near future. Results will be posted at http://www.a1bike.com/pages/3/index.htm
Next week will bring Buck Hill on Thursday and the first MNSCS race on Saturday….
For now, I need rest.