Epic Pro CyclingFinish: 2nd (0:26:24)
Location: Salida, CO
Distance: 6.4 mi
In less than 10 words: 45 minutes of warm-up is much better.
GPS track on Strava: Circuit Race
After my less-than-stellar morning result in the Hill Climb I decided that what I needed, besides a longer warm-up, was a nap and a burrito. Luckily, I knew where to find both of these: in my Subaru. So after a 90-minute nap in the trunk of my car, a cold but delicious meat-and-veggie-and–some-kind-of-sauce burrito and a 45-minute warm-up I was ready to rock!
Mitch Hoke took the lead early in the race closely followed by Fernando Paez, Colin Cares and yours truly. That was the order at the top of the climb as we entered the singletrack descent. As we began descending, Mitch used his stellar descending skills to get a gap on Fernando and after passing Colin I got stuck behind Fernando until we hit the dirt road at the lowest point of the course. Then, as we passed the Start/Finish, Colin, Fernando, Damian Calvert, Sam Morrison, Chris Baddick and I started chasing. This didn’t work very well and the group fell apart with Mitch still out of reach.
For the next two laps, not much happened. I felt pretty strong on the climbs and tried to stay smooth and fast on the descent. Colin and I (and Chris for a while) worked hard to bridge back up to Mitch but we weren’t able to make up the initial gap he had created on the first lap. By the fourth and final lap, I had a few seconds on Colin and was able to reach the singletrack in second place. I could see Mitch, but even though I pushed it on the descent wasn’t able to catch him.
That’s how the race finished, Mitch, then me, then Colin. Pretty cool since the three of us have been racing together for a long time. I actually raced against Mitch at my very first mountain bike race in 2003, the Angel Fire Chile Challenge. And Colin and I are birthday buddies. Two random bits of information that may prove useful to you some day. You never know…