Friday, May 10, 2013

Race Report: Ridgeline Rampage and Battle the Bear

I have been a little behind on race reports for this year. Believe or not, I do have a real job alongside my biking career that has gotten rather busy lately, but enough of all that boring stuff.

Ridgeline Rampage

I do not know what it is about this race, but my legs always feel heavy whenever I warm up for the Ridgeline Rampage, and then it all goes downhill from there. I started the race making a rookie mistake and shooting the gap. Maybe since my last race was a cyclocross race, I thought this was a good idea for a second, but in endurance racing it is about the worst move you can make. The first lap I pushed harder than I should have while everyone else took it easy behind me. The second lap my racing buddy Jason passed me with hopes I would hang with him. Although I tried, I just didn't have it in me to hang. If my performance was not embarrassing enough, I fell on my left side during the first lap, and right side during the second lap making holes in both sides my new bib shorts. I was able to reel some racers back in a little on the later laps, but they soon pulled away again. I just did not have the motivation to dig deep enough to catch up to anyone. I ended up with a disappointing sixth place. It was not even close to the podium spot I was shooting to achieve. My buddy Jason ended up with first though, so I could at least be happy for him.

Battle the Bear

After a week of kicking myself for sucking during the last week's race, I lined up for the Battle the Bear with a strategy; don't be the first to the single track, and just try hang with Jason who is known to be a strong racer. The race was six laps of ten miles at Bear Creek Lake. The first half of the first lap was much more mellow than my last race and I was able to save my legs for awhile, but on the only big climb in the race Jason made a quick move and I followed creating a gap from the main pack. I did not realize until the second lap that Jason was not trying to make an early break away, he was chasing a racer that was pulling away. I let Jason lead the second lap, and then took my turn pulling on the third lap. We pulled the lone racer in during the that lap. After that, we took turns pulling all the way to the last lap. On the last lap we could see the lone racer pulling us back in slowly, so on the last few miles to the finish line I pushed the pace. I pulled away from Jason, and unfortunately the lone racer along with another racer pulled him in. I pushed hard all the way to the line, and I'm glad I did because I only won by thirty seconds. It was a much better result than a sixth place! I still could not help but be disappointed my buddy Jason was not on the podium with me. I'm sure he will kill during his next race though.

I have a graduation and a wedding before my next race in Gunnison for the Growler. I'm hoping to pull off a top ten, and enjoy the awesome trail they have down there. I can hardly wait!