I am not sure what to say about Maplelag that I haven't already said in previous posts. Needless to say, it was hard to leave Monday.
The racing was hot this year with some Road/CX pros showing up to spice up the TT and STXC. Also, Jason Sager, a top national pro who runs and rides for the Jamis mtbk team, flew in to checkout some Midwest racing.
TT: It was cooler and more damp than last year. I contend that this is the most painful 10 minutes of my entire year. This year I didn't feel great and it showed with a time of 9:57, 7 seconds slower than Jason. The only good news is that my course record from the previous year of 9:36 still stands.
STXC: This was the fastest STXC to date up there. It only took a few minutes before it was me, Jason, Doug, Patty Cakes Lemieux, and Adam Bergman. Adam and Patty worked hard to blow us all up w/ relentless attacking. In the end, they blew each other up, and I was happy to see Doug take the win and the MN STXC State Champ t-shirt=) I just rode at the back of the pack and finished 5th. It would have been smart of me to move up a few spots to avoid the whiplash around every corner. Either way, I felt ok and didn't want to dig too deep with the impending XC race destruction. My only comments on the post race shenanigans are below in the picture caption.A face we don't get to see around the Midwest enough anymore
The lead group in the STXC
When roady tactics meet mtbking prowess and "never say die" attitude mountain bike racing can be frustrating for some=) I have never seen anything like this at a mtbk race, 'nuff said.
XC: It took a while to get things going and after following Jason's horrible line that wrapped me a round a tree (I gave him a hard time for that!) and dropping my chain 3x (not sure what was going on there because it went away the last 2 laps!). The 2nd and 3rd lap saw me catching Samo after he had ridden away and reeling in Jason. The reeling was too little too late though and I ended up 30 some seconds back as the first looser;) I have to say that on the second 2 laps, I felt pretty strong, which is encouraging this time of year when both fitness and motivation tend to slip. The XC finish was good enough for another second place in the omnium.Discussing the finer points of tire choice w/ Jason...he was on Geax Tubulars, I was running Bonti XR1,0.
How the singletrack rolls up at Maplelag...you better always be paying attention!
Ah, the Lakeside Drops...not the most difficult thing on the course, but probably the scariest looking. % grade? Who knows, maybe 50%?
Fun: Along with me came my parents, Jen's Parents, Jen's sister Amanda, Ben, Casey, and Tegan. We had wonderful accommodations overlooking the Lakside Drops. Tegan had a blast playing w/ Jon Richards and the Grammas/Pappas. Casey is pretty attached to Mommy and Daddy right now, but I know at least a few folks got some time with her away from us.
Pictures: All the pics above are from Skinnyski.com...awesome as usual.
Next? Hmm, not sure. I won't be up in Hayward on the 18th, but I will be in St. Cloud for a couple (or three) races the following weekend.
Anything I missed? Oh yeah, I went running today...CX is coming soon.