Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Soaking in the legs in Little Sugarbush Lake was Heavenly...

Maplelag is my family's favorite biking weekend of the year and this year it came with a cherry on top: perfect weather.
The racing action was hot and had TJ beating me in the XC and overall by 11 seconds, but let me start from the top.
One of my goals coming into the weekend was to set the course record for the TT that Doug set the prior year. Well, Doug, TJ and I all set the record, but I was just a little faster...1 second faster than TJ at 9:36 for the 3 mile course=) So things were off to a good start, but I was wondering how long the legs would hold out after the 2-4 last weekend....
The STXC is a super fun course that saw a group of about 5 of us getting away. You can see TJ and I were excited about it (not sure what I was doing=)!
I didn't want to try to sprint Doug so I attacked on the second to last lap, but slipped a little on a loose turn. At that point, I caught back on and just rode it out, as Doug put in a last lap attack and got a little gap on us. Again, it was a tight finish w/ Doug, TJ and I finishing within 1 second of each other.

That left the XC, and it was on like donkey kong! With some "All about Performance" pumping us up and a very well done singing of the National Anthem by Jack Richards, we were ready to go. I felt fine at the start and decided to see if everyone was awake so I turned it up a little, which left TJ, Doug, myself and SamO just off the back. I knew at this point that my power on the climbs and doubletracks was not there, but I continued to have a blast railing the rocky, rooty, twisty singletrack that is Maplelag (built by mountain bikers - for mountain bikers). For the next couple laps, the lead would change several times, but eventually I was able to gap TJ and SamO in the singletrack.. at least it was a gap that wasn't immediately pulled back as I crawled along the double track sections. Going in to the last lap, things started to fall apart. My legs were cramping even though I was hydrating was the muscle fatigue from Afton finally setting in. I had to sit up a little so my legs wouldn't seize; it was PAINFUL. TJ caught and passed me on suicide hill as I soft pedaled up the big steep climb. I kept focused and continued to dangle off his wheel for the remainder of the race. I could see him the whole time, but when requested more power from the engine room, all I got was more cramps. TJ and I met at the finish line both with smiles on our faces however because it was an epic 2 day, 3 race battle that came down to the very end. Awesome.
Pics are from Bruce at Skinnyski.
I should note that the my 8 day marathon of 24 hour race, a TT, a STXC, and XC were all done on the same Top Fuel(s). The only tweaks I made were to the lockout/propedal and tires. I have never owned a bike that is the exact right tool for ALL those jobs with no compromises. All I can say, is that if you get a chance to demo one this Fall or in the Spring, do it...
Enough writing for now. Spirit Mt this weekend.

1 comment:

Jay Richards said...

Thanks for making some great racing Brendan. A pleasure to have you and your family. Thanks for the support.