The cornhusker state games mountian bike race has always been a special race for me since it was were I raced (unsuccessfully) for the first time and it was were I also got my first win ever in last years event. This year was a bit different. The race changed locations from my favorite training trail at Branched Oak Lake to some new trails at a different lake. This course is very flat and twisty with no real climbs.
On the morning of the race I decided to ride down to the course with my teammate Sean to warm up. The ride is about 15 miles and was a nice way to warm up and different from what I had done before and I really liked how I felt when I got to the race. When we got there I dropped my stuff off at the team tent that had been brought down by a couple of other guys. After I got my bottles ready it was time for the race meeting were they dropped a big surprise on us by telling us they were going to start the race "le mans" style since the field was big (they had cat 1 and 2's racing together). This sucked for me. I race bikes because I can't run anymore.....at all. I'm slow, really slow. By the time I got to the bike drop I put my bike in the middle of the group and made the walk back to were they were starting us.
When the whistle blew I took off as fast as I could and got to the bikes were I quickly got into a bottle neck going into the singletrack and ended up heading in at the back of the pack. I was behind about a group of six guys and I was chomping at the bit to get going but the course is not very passing freindly and I was struggling to get around the group.
It took me about a whole lap to start to get around the group after it split up a little and then I just kept picking off riders one after another but then constantly running into another group of 3 or 4 riders that were harder to get around.
Eventually I made my way through most of the traffic and was able to put down some good speed but I was to far behind to catch the leaders. In the end I finished 4th overall of the Cat 1 riders and 2nd in my age group. It was a frustrating race but that is bike racing and the start is everything. I'm hoping that next year they can start us on the bikes, or maybe I need to learn to run a bit. Cross Season is just arond the corner.