Sunday, August 5, 2012

It's a WIN! - Ruby Challenge XC

What a busy weekend of racing. I didn't know if I was going to make it through in one piece, especially with Ruby today. But it all worked out, and worked out well. The weeks leading up to the race, I thought a lot  about my strategy for racing in the Elite/Expert Single Speed class at Ruby. All the MMBA CPS races that I have on done have been on the single speed, but Ruby is my least favorite place to ride my single speed, let alone race it there. But with all the trail work the team has done this year to make it flow well, and the few practice rides I got in on my single speed out there, I knew that I would be able to have a good race if I had anything left in the legs after Brighton.

The plan was to run a big gear and then run up all the longer step hills (Lance and Outhouse Hill) and run across the river crossings. My fear was all the additional running would have my calves cramping like crazy. But if I could manage the running, I would kill the flats and twisty single track sections, as I have been able to hang with most geared riders stroke for stroke at Ruby this year.



This was going to be a 3 lap race and I was loving it. I knew that 90 mins was going to be right in my wheel house for my endurance level. And It was. I tried to grab the hole shot to be the first into the single track, but just got nipped at the entrance of the single track. I rode the wheel of the rider in front of  me, and up the first sandy climb, he stalled and started to fall over. I punched it and went around. This caused a little jam up behind me. From here on out I never looked back. It felt like a 90 min CX race! I was driving as hard as I could all the time. My heart rate stayed high, and I felt butter smooth through the single track the entire time. Running the hills was working perfect, and the legs held up well! As the race was winding down, I was feeling really good and continued to grow my gap until the end. At one point, Aryn Pongratz gave me a time check of 4 mins! I could hardly believe I was going that good. I finished the 3 laps in a time of 1:15. I was expecting a time of 1:20-1:22. And as a result, after 4 years of racing Expert in mountain biking, I finally got a win!

6 comments:

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Paynful said...

Nice job this weekend John!! CX is around the corner!!

Aryn said...

I believe the other time check I gave you was something like "John, you have time to stop and make a sandwich."

TP said...

POW!

BrAdLaKo said...

F-en STUD.... and in your old TSB kit too. Nice work J-LO

jbhancock said...

Fantastic ride... Just in time to kill it for 'cross.