Saturday, October 20, 2007

Darwin Twine Ball race report

Wonder socks - activate! This was by far my best race of the year. The course suited me perfectly: tough hills and runups, twisty turns and slippery mud. The grassy start/finish started going uphill then became a runup for all but the studliest of racers, and even then riding wasn't really any faster. At the top of the hill with a good view of the course the turns started, snaking their way back down like a mountain pass and challenging our turning skills while also being a bit slick from the rain over the last few days. Then a barrier before the wooded section and a steep muddy runup with another barrier, then a muddy singletrack section with some challenging hills. One hill was thick with mud and required a dismount, and another was just barely rideable and put some serious hurt on the quads and back. Then we exited the woods and turned back into the start/finish area.

I got a decent start, although the 'hole shot' wasn't particularly important here. The hill strung out the race nicely before the twisty section, so kudos to the course designers here. I was aware of no crashes in this race. The course really wore people down, and I kind of felt like a vulture: following people just waiting for a bobble, a slide-out, a tough runup or some other opportunity to pass. Unlike most other races, I was actually moving up in the field rather than limiting my losses drifting back in the field! For the first time I didn't get girled either, and two particularly strong women showed up to race. In the end it looks like I was 8th in the B1s, good for CRY points! Probably people were saving energy for tomorrow's race, but I'll take it! While I was in my pain cave I heard a shout out from Hollywood in the start/finish area but I couldn't see him to acknowledge it. Later he was cheering on a strong Silver Cycling racer that I was playing leapfrog with the whole race. In the end he got ahead, but there's nothing like being closely matched to someone to bring out your best racing!

The A race was interesting to watch. The race leaders were riding the tough runup, which was amazing. Adam Bergman showed up to give Bjorn and Aric a run for their money, and last I checked it was Bjorn, Bergman then Aric.

I'm very happy with my race today and I hope it hints at more of the same in the future. Tomorrow: Powderhorn!