Greetings from my air conditioned living room. It is currently 92 degrees outside and since the heat has not treated me well over the last week I’ve decided to write a recap on my race over the weekend. So this was race #4 sporting the GT Dirt Coalition colors and so far I have had a great start to my season.
Saturday’s race took place up at Winter Park ski resort about 90 minutes from Denver. Winter Park runs what could be the best mountain bike series throughout the mountain states. I have been heading west to Winter Park for their annual mountain bike series since I moved to Colorado in 2002 and they continue to put on a top notch event. The race on Saturday was an 18 mile loop dubbed The Super Loop. The start was like most of the other races and began with a long climb straight up the ski area access road. This climb is a great way to gauge your fitness around the other racers and it usually strings out the pack as well. To be honest this climb usually sets me to the middle or back of the pack, but on Saturday I surprised myself and I was able to stay with the top 5 before we hit the singletrack. My legs were feeling incredibly strong for this anaerobic effort off the start line.
So enough about the first death climb, the rest of the race was a lot more fun than a climb up a dirt road! My GT Marathon performed as well as my body did the entire day. Every time I ride this bike I am continually impressed by it. I have been tinkering with the suspension the last couple of weeks and I think I now have it completely dialed. This race had some serious climbing to the tune of 3,200 vertical feet over 17.6 miles. The Marathon took all the climbs in stride both seated and out of the saddle.
So with all the climbing there was definitely a fare amount of descending on this course as well. I think that my downhill skills on the bike have drastically improved over the years and I owe it mostly to skiing. I felt extremely confident on the downhills the entire day. Unfortunately I lost most of my time on the downhills getting caught behind slower riders and not having any safe opportunities to pass. I think next race I’ll have to take some chances on the downhill to get around everyone. One of my goals this year is to finally win a mountain bike race. This is now my 14 season of racing and I have yet to earn a W.
In the end I missed the podium in the Expert 25-29 category by 1 spot taking the 4th spot and only 4 minutes off the lead pace. Overall, this race was a success and great training for Leadville in August. The next race on the schedule is the Firecracker 50 on July 4th which should be quite character building!