First of all, I probably should cover this....Jen and I have a bun in the oven. I could give you all kinds of details on it but Jen does a better job than I could: http://jensrunninblog.blogspot.com/
On to racing...today was the one of the most fun and brutal courses in the MNSCS. The expert/comp course is as close to mountain-mountain biking as we can get here in the midwest. The rocky and crazy twisty down hills combined with a grueling 800 foot climb have left me with a tired body tonite.
The field was one of the strongest this year with the Nationals racers back home....to list a few names: Paul, Justin, TJ, the Swanson brothers, Fisher, Jeff, Erik Tonklin (a Kona team rider), Ben, the O's, man the list goes on. I knew that placing well would be tough, but with all but a wrap on the series title, I was under no pressure to perform. From the gun, Doug took off like a maniac. The rest of us followed and during the first lap, things sorted themselves out. A lot of the selection was made on the first lap. I ended up riding with TJ, Paul, and Justin (places 3-6) going into the second lap. I was feeling fine for the most part, but due to long laps, ~40 minutes per, I was parched by the time I was getting my handoffs. That bit me a little in the end. Early in the 2nd lap of 3, we caught Doug who was really suffering. I was content to ride in the 2-5 group because Jeff was up the trail and he was smokin'. Prior to the race, Jeff told me that it was his favorite MNSCS course, and on top of that, this time we didn't have a National on Saturday to tire him out=)
Anyway, not much happened for the rest of the 2nd lap, but we did open up a gap on Justin on the climb. Going up the top of the climb, Paul attacked. I was happy to let him go, because some juicy fun singletrack was coming. TJ let me by on the way down, and I caught Paul about 5 minutes later. We rode together until the end...and Paul spanked me in a sprint. I played my cards on final climb, and they almost worked. Paul rode a really strong and sensible race. It is good to have he and the Kato crew back...although they tend to make me work harder=)
Anyway, I was happy with third on the day given a large strong field. After this finish, if my math is right, I wrapped up the Series title which was one of my main goals coming into the season. Cool!
Next up is 24 of Afton. It is unfortunate that I am missing the WORS Cup, but I have really been looking forward to Afton. FYI - our team is Ben, Fisher, Ben Portilla (a Colorado ringer we are bringing in=), and myself.