I headed up early with my Teammate Ryan who was racing in the marathon category so I had plenty of time to get out and get everything ready and relax before the my race started. After I got the tent set up and everything set I supported Ryan for the first couple of his laps before I finally kitted up and got ready. I went out and rode about a 1/3 of the course with Sean after he got there. My plan was to follow a similar routine to what I did at the state games and not tire myself out with a full lap. I probably should have pre-rode the whole course sometime cause there was some pretty big drops and and techy secitons that took me by surprise on my first lap.
When we lined up to start I somehow found myself in the second row. Luckily we were on a long road section before going into the singletrack. It was surprising to actually be recognized as a faster rider in the group cause a couple of guys who I didn't know said I could get in front of them cause they didn't want to get in my way. When the gun went off I found a hole and hit the singletrack in about 5th or 6th position but I was behind the fastest guys in the group so I wanted to make sure I got up there with them.
Shortly after the race got going the on a seciton that can be a little bit tricky the rider in front of me went down and that is when I lost sight of the leaders. I didn't crash but I had to come to a complete stop and unclip and was passed by a whole bunch of guys that I had to work my way around. I started to really charge and did not want to get to far back and I knew if I didn't get them back in my sights I was never going to catch up. I quickly got the 3rd place rider and went around him and was trying to chase down the 2nd place guy(who is in the picture above, he's killed me in some of the earlier races) but when we got towards the end of the lap there is a huge climb that I made a lot of ground up on but after that is a huge descent that he was able to pull away from me a bit.
I finished the first lap sitting in 3rd position and trying to catch the second place rider. Around a 1/4 of the way through the 2nd lap I came upon and passed the second place rider. He said he was hurting and quickly moved aside. I was trying to push but I was feeling a bit tired. It was about a 100 degrees out but I don't think it really got to me that much I just didn't have it in me to chase the leader down.
On the third and final lap I pulled away from the second place rider and when we got to the big climb and I got to the top I couldn't see any other riders behind me so I just kind of put it into cruise control and rolled to the finish in 2nd place. I couldn't see the leader who was probably farther down the descent and since descending is not my strong suite and I knew that leader was a hammer on the flats and descent I didn't push it. I was planning on racing on Sunday in Iowa but due to unforseen circumstances I ended up not going.
A big thanks to Katie who was working the pits for the team got me my bottles on every lap. I only carried one bottle per lap this race and it worked well not having to worry about switching them. Here's a couple of pics from after the race
Here's a video Ryan took of me rolling into the finish line. It would be a much more dramatic video if it was a sprint finish but I really prefer it this way.