Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Maskenthine XC Classic: Race Report

photo courtesy of Elkhorn valley cycling

On Saturday morning I headed up to Stanton Ne for another installment of the Nebraska Lottery Psycowpath Series, the Maskenthine XC Classic. I have never missed a race at this location. 4 years ago this was the 2nd race that I attempted and the first one that I finished.

My flatwater cycling teammate Sean rode with me for the 2 hour drive to the lake were the race was being held. We had a strong wind out of the south that I wasn't really that worried about since a good portion of this course like most mtb courses is pretty well covered by trees. After we got the venue and went about the usual set-up of signing release forms, prepping and dropping off bottles and getting changed we headed up to pre-ride part of the course and warm up before having to get to the line. I felt ok on the warm up and thought that I was going to have a decent race. Remember the word thought.

As we lined up I placed myself in the second row since I knew we had a long gravel section to go around and then climb before dumping into the singletrack. When they sent us off I tucked into Sean's wheel and followed him up to the singletrack and then jumped off and went into the trail in 7th place. The leaders shot off and I went with them creating a gap from everyone behind me. I was sitting in ok going through the most technical part of the trail but when we hit a short punching climb I just had nothing. I struggled to hang onto the riders wheel in front of me but couldn't hold on and just fell back and next thing I knew I was riding alone. I just kept pushing but I was quickly realizing that I had no legs and I went into immediate frustration mindset since I thought I had a pretty good week leading up to the race.

After about 1/2 a lap the rider that was in 8th place caught back up to me and rode with my wheel for about the rest of the lap before passing me on a open turn that I bobbled. I tried to grab his wheel and stick with him but had nothing and I spent the rest of the race riding in 8th place where I would later finish. I guess at least I finished in the money and was able to recoupe my race entry fee. I am still racing for points in this series and I'm currently sitting in 1st place in my age group. A lot of the real heavy hitters in the Cat 1 category are in the 35 plus group.

I was pretty frustrated with how this whole race went from how I felt and by my bike handling skills. For some reason lately I just can't seem to take any corners or turns with any amount of speed and I think that it is wearing me out always having to scrub so much speed and have to push to gain it back on every corner and turn. It is definitely a weakness that is going to get a lot of focus in my upcoming training rides.


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