Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Race Report: Psycowpath # 8 Manawa Mountain Bike Mayhem

This race report is way overdue.

On Saturday was the Manawa Mountain Bike Mayhem race. It was the last installment of the 2009 Psycowpath series and the last xc mountain bike race of the year for me. I was originally kind of looking forward to the season being over but know that it is I have totally changed my mind.

On the night before the race I was concerned about it even happening as scheduled cause it was raining pretty good for a while in Lincoln and with Manawa being only an hour away I was afraid they were getting the same weather. The course did get a bit of rain but not as much as at home so the race was on. I was a bit worried about the course cause I knew it was really flat and would be wet and slick for a while and what worried me was my tires. I'm running and have been running all season the continental race kings. I love the tires and I will be hard pressed to change them or run any thing else in dry packed conditions like we normally have here in summer in NE but they are not the best for slick, greasy singletrack. I was hoping to be able to change them out with the continental mountain kings that were at the shop but when I got there and looked at them I realized they were for 29er's so I was stuck with what I had.

When I got to the race venue and started out for my warm up lap to check out the trail conditions I was a bit releived to see that the course was just pretty tacky until I hit a real thick tree covered area where the trail was the feared greasy singletrack that I knew would slow me down during the race. I only rode the first side of the course which is about 2/3 of it before heading back to get ready to line up.

When the gun went off I made a shot towards the front and went into the singletrack in 2nd position right behind a rider that I knew was probably the strongest in the field. He has beaten a couple of times this year and he is really powerful on the flat sections of courses and since this whole course is flat I knew he would be tough. My plan was to just hang on with him and try to get him at the end. For most of the lap we stayed together and had dropped the rest of the field. When we got to the 2nd section of singletrack is where I started to run into problems. The course gets pretty tight and I was having a hard time hanging on navigating the course. I was starting to get the hang of it and then I miss judged the course direction where is veers to the right really quick and then goes back down a small hill and I ended up going cutting across the trail and got caught up on a downed branched and crashing. When I was getting back up from the crash I was caught by the third place rider and couldn't hold him off as I was trying to get back into the flow of the race and was passed shortly after the beginning of the second lap.

On the second lap about 1/3rd of the way through I crashed on a completely wide open turn. My back wheel slid out from underneath me. This crash hurt more than the earlier one cause I jammed my wrist on the ground when I was falling. At that point I couldn't see the rider that was in second place. My wrist was really bothering me so my goal went from trying to chase down the second place rider to just holding my place. I knew we were out in front of everyone else so I just went as hard as I could handle.

Things went pretty good for the rest of the second lap and the third lap until right until the end like about 1 minute from the end where I layed the bike down again on a wide open loose rock turn. I had way to much pressure in the rear tire causing me to slide out. This time when I went down though I didn't fall all the way and my left quad cramped really bad. I was freaking out at this point that someone was going to come up behind me and pass me at the last second but I was able to get on the bike and ride out the cramp and make it to the finish line in 3rd place.

This race wasn't my best but it will do. I ended up sitting 3rd overall in the series to which the goal at the beginning of the season was to be in the top 3. Now I'm already looking forward to next season.

I got a late addition to the race schedule on tap for this weekend. The original plan was to race in the Omaha Cyclocross weekend but with my Cross bike getting delayed in shipping I'm not going to get it in until Friday and I don't really want to build it Friday night and then race it on Saturday morning so I'm going to hit up this 3 hour endurance race right outside of Lincoln. I'm curious to see how it is since it is on private land and no one has ever ridden the trails before. Should be interesting. Plus I'm always kind of going to choose Mountain over Cross. Later.


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