Sunday, May 31, 2009

Summerset Shootout XC: Race Report

Today I was up early and off to Iowa to race in the Summerset XC race. I just heard about this race last week and I decided to do it since I haven't raced my mountain bike in a while. I was a little concerned when I got up. I hadn't slept well again and my legs were a bit tight from yesterdays crit but I took some asparin and was set off on the 3 hour drive.

the garmin nuvi. the only thing that got me to this race

I got to the park and got registered and changed and was off to check out the course. All I can say was that when they said this course was very technical they weren't joking. The trail is new but not to bumpy but what makes it tough is all of the turns with an off camber climb out of nowhere. There were also a ton of other technical aspects. Big drops, tight trees you name it it had it. All I can say was that it was great. I wish I had taken my camera with me on the warm up to get some shots of it.

When we lined up I felt was feeling really good. The temp was warm. Perfect weather for mtb racing. They had us start on a long paced road before entering the singletrack. When the gun went off I jumped right to the front and caught the wheel of a racer that I new had won the cat 2 series and would be the strongest competition. I new it would be key to get out in front cause I new there would be some bottle necking and didn't want to get caught up in it. We went into the course 1-2 and I was content with that as long as I could keep contact. I was getting pretty beat around by this tough course and went off the trail a few times but was still going strong. I started to notice that something didn't feel right with my turning which was killing me also on this tough track. I started to lose contact with the leader and was having a tough time. We had a pretty good lead on the rest of the group and then I had my first crash on one of the tight turns with a sharp uphill climb. I went down pretty hard losing a bottle. I knew my leg and knee took all of the fall. Luckily at that point I had a large enough lead that I didn't lose a spot and was back on the bike and going but then I noticed that the tire was going flat So I stopped and changed it out getting passed by what I was assuming was most of the field.

this is what my chain ring did to the back of my right leg under my calf. i took this after cleaning it when i got home.

As I got going again I was trying to push it and make up some time and was getting tossed all over the course. I was mentally off from the earlier crash and the stress of the tire and overshot a couple of turns, crashed a couple of more times, tore my jersey and base layer and ended up getting a second slow leak in my front tire. The problem was I didn't have another tube and was out of CO2's. I was close to one of the roads the roads that ran through the park and cut the course. I thought about packing it in and just dropping out and going home but I decided since I had driven 3 hours to get there I might as well get some training in. I went back to my car and grabbed another tube I had my hand pump in there and was able to get the tire aired up again. I went back to the place where I had gotten off the course and jumped back on. I knew I was out of the race but I tried to push as hard as I could to get some race simulation training in on this killer course.

my jersey now with a big hole in the back. i need to find someone who can sew it up for me to wear as a training jersey

I did end up finishing the race. I was probably came in last out of the people that finished but I was glad that I was able to finish the race. I knew if I hadn't finished I would be beating myself up about it the whole way home. I am getting pretty sore now after the drive and sitting at home for a while. Overall though I'm glad I did the race and will defintely be back next year. The thing that really gets me is I think I could have won this race. I've beaten the guy who won in other races before so I knew it was possible and I was feeling real good but I guess that is mountain bike racing. I'm just hoping that I don't have another race decided for me by a flat tire again. Later.


1 comment:

Bruce Brown said...

Sorry you torked your leg and the flats happened. I guess it just was not our day with tires. The good news is we'll both live to fight another day.

I've got another Iowa race this weekend and hope to recover and get my equipment dialed to avoid another flat.

Regardless, thanks for coming over to Iowa for the race. It's a great trail and should be a fun annual event.