This is number 3 in my 5 race reports in 5 days catchup series.
After the time trial on Saturday morning I had a long wait before starting my first ever short track race at Tranquility Park in Omaha. I went with the rest of the team over to Sean D's (part owner of the shop) house to get some work done to Jason's bike that had some problems with the rear wheel during the TT and then it was off to grab some lunch at Whole Foods and then we headed to the park.
Heading to the park was part of the problem. We got there about 1:30 since Jesse was racing at 2:30 but I didn't race until 6:30 which translated to me sitting in the heat for 5 hours before it was time to race. It did not help my performance. I did enjoy watching the guys race but I just ended up getting tired. I even slept for about 25 minutes which was a huge mistake.
When I lined up for my race I felt pretty tired and new that this was going to rough. I new that this was going to hurt since they had us going up the biggest climb over and over again. It also didn't help that almost all of the rest of the field was from Omaha and were able to spend the day at home resting instead of hanging out in the heat but no excuses.
When the gun went off the field bolted down the long dirt road that led into the singletrack climb. I was right in the middle of the pack when we hit the climb and a couple of the local hammers and Jesse a pro from Minneapolis hammered it up the climb and I new i wasn't going to be able to keep in touch. I fell back into the second group and just went as hard as I could.
On the second lap I was sitting in 6th place and had seperated myself from everyone behind me except for Chris a guy who was also a Cat 2 last year that I battled with the whole season for the top spot. We played cat and mouse the whole rest of the race. He would draft off me on the road section on some lapsand I would do the same on others. We came close to catching the 5th place rider but I think both of us got a bit tired. I knew that I was better on the flats and I always have been able to climb better than him. The thing is after the top of the hill is a big descent that he can get down way faster than I can.
When we hit the climb on the last lap my plan was to attack him on the climb and try to get a gap that I could hold to the end. He led us into the climb and when I went to make my move I stood up and my rear tire slid and he attacked right at the same time and got away from me and I wasn't able to gain traction and catch him. Stupid mistake. I know better than to stand and get the wait off the rear tire when I'm climbing like that.
I ended the race in 7th place. I definitely think that if I had prepared better the rest of the day I think I could have pulled off a top five finish. I really like the style of short track racing and hope to be able to do some more in the future.