29 down, 2 races left to go....the final MNSCS in St. Cloud and 24 Hours of Moab (team).
My 29th mountain bike race of the year felt just like it sounds, tiring. I had what I term "crappy" legs all week since Maplelag. I was sore/tire later into the week than I remember being all year, but there was no way that was going to stop me from making a trip with Chris and Jen Fisher up to Spirit Mt in Duluth on Sunday. The course is like a transplant of Mt Snow (or other NE style trails) in the Minnesota: by far the rockiest, rootiest trail I have done in the Midwest. It was a 2 lap epic, which is always welcome change after some of our 5-6 lap races we do. More than half-a-dozen elite riders flatted and at least that many more had big crashes. I managed to avoid both but did doink my carbon Bonti XXX lite rims on several rocks (knock on wood but they are still very solid).
All that said, I felt more like a pin ball than a proficient singletrack rider on Sunday. In talking to Scott Kylander-Johnson after the race, he claims that there are good lines through it all....I just didn't find some of them=) Beyond that it was a tough race. Off the start I got a good gap, but ScottKJ pulled the OBros back to me by the bottom of the hill on the first lap. Over the next 700 feet of nearly continuous technical climbing I was able to drop Eric and Scott and gap SamO by ~20 seconds. It was a relief to not see Scott with SamO because they surely would have closed that on the ensuing downhill. I rode a lot smoother on the second lap even though it rained for a bit making the roots and rocks a little slick. I ended up with the win and a little over a minute on SamO. Michael McBurney, a rising XC bike and run (or so I learned in talking to him after the race), star put in an awesome performance to round out the podium. He is another one to watch out for in the future!
Next up is a REST weekend (no Cheq for me this year). I need to save body and motivation for our charge in Moab.