This was going to be a big weekend and a game decider for the Masters 35+ Series overall. I was still in the lead heading into the weekend but only by 6 points. I needed big results. Like wins. Because there were only a few points separating Alex, Andy, Rodger, and me for the top spots. And we have been all racing at the same level. It was going to be an all out war for the weekend. And the person with the most fitness, desire, and luck would come out on top. And it didn't necessaryliy need to be in that order. But that is how racing goes.
Day 1 - It was cold, windy, dry, and I was ready. I had some strategy I felt was going to be the key for a great day. But finding the right time to execute is always the other key you need. We started and the pace was very controled. I was feeling good and just sitting in waiting to see what Alex and Andy would try to do. We rode like this for about 4 laps. Then we caught a group of about 5 elites. Andy jumped to the front of the group when an opening appeared. Alex just snuck in behind him, and I had to latch on to the back. Not good. This has been a problem for a few of are races this year. Into the next lap I was able to burn a match and get around everyone and back onto my train. The effort was hard and a few of the elite guys came right back around me once we hit the grass again. Not a big deal, but Alex and Andy were slowly pulling away. I explained to the guys I needed to get around, to catch the guys ahead, and that I was not racing them. One of the guys (from out of state) was a complete asshole, and we exchanged a few words and rubbed elbows through a few corners as I tried to cut his line for being an asshole. But I soon got over it. During this time however, Andy opened a gap on Alex and now both had a gap on me. I was left to chase full throttle for the rest of the race. Not what was in my plan, but it was the hand that was dealt, so I had to play it. I stayed in the red zone for the last 3 laps and slowly clawed my way back to Alex. With only 2 turns left and the final drag on pavement I finally caught Alex. He opened the sprint from a long ways out and I jumped on my pedals. I was quickly pulling along side of him as we approached the line. I was finally on his side with just a few feet left, through the bike at the line, but missed second place by about 2 inches. I was so spent from the effort, that I started to dry heave after the finish.
But there is still one more prize left for me to shoot for. The State Championship race. I have been pimped 2 years in a row at this one. And after this weekend I am even more hungry for it. So between the last few years, the past few races, better fitness than ever heading into the final few weeks, maybe lady luck will be on my side.
Thanks to everyone for cheering to pushing me through the race this weekend. It was awesome! Brad, Jay, Kelly, Jim, Alex, Vinne, Andy, and many others, just too many to remember.
Here are some congrats and favorite moments from the weekend. As always, there are others, but these are the ones I remembered.
Congrats to Alex and Andy for splitting the wins this weekend
Mark Parmalee for laying it down on day 1 taking a commanding win.
Jarod Makowski for showing why he use to be a pro mountain biker and taking 2nd on day 2
Jim Goerlich for taking 5th on day 1 in the B's
Adam Mac for doubling up the W's on both days.
Brad Lako for not giving up and fighting through the pain both days to take home to podiums
Scott Goocher for taking home his first ever CX podium and 2 wins to boot, especially after coming back from being hit by a car just over a year ago - AMAZING!!!
Vinnie Cousino Anila for taking 5th in the C class on day 2 in a slippery mess. Steady improvement is key and thanks for the photos.