GHORBA Big Ring Challenge

I don’t want to really talk about this last weekend. It was surprisingly disappointing for me.

I think I’ll list the things that disappointed me.

  1. I punched a tree and it made me bleed.20130326-195222.jpgOf course, my glove is perfectly fine.
  2. All my friends were busy on Saturday and couldn’t hang out. 🙁
  3. I’ve never wanted to quit racing and just drive home in the morning like I did Saturday night. I realized it was just me being really tired, but it was very overwhelming.
  4. I thought I finished somewhere between 10th and 14th, but ended up in 18th.
  5. I drove 11 or so hours for only 15 points for the series. 15 points that will eventually be dropped from my score and pointless.

But enough complaining. Some of the highlights.

  1. I got some excellent race experience in, including the most passing I’ve ever done.
  2. I wasn’t passed by the older age group. Normally the leaders will pass me somewhere along the course but for the first time, they didn’t.
  3. There was nothing to complain about in regards to the race, the course, the set up or the volunteers.
  4. My cat 1 friends gave me an awesome pre-race pep talk and strategy session.
  5. I got to see my friends on Sunday and it was pretty awesome to hang out with them.

The race starts off on a short looking, but quite long section of paved road that you have to sprint down in order to get into a great position for the single track. Once you hit the single track, there is no where to pass. Well, no where to pass without issues.

I apparently and pretty good at sprinting down that road, since I ended up in fourth in the single track. I tried to find a balance between keeping the leaders in sight and not pushing myself too hard. I needed to be able to “put the hammer down” when we got to the fire road and the course opened up for a short section. I really don’t think I balanced that quite right, since the leaders were way ahead of me and I actually got passed before the fire road. Furthermore, once on the first fire road, I really didn’t have much to push with and got passed some more.

On that first fire road, I did get passed by someone on my left and on my right at the same time. They both came together in front of me and bumped handlebars. The guy on the slowed down and recovered, but the guy on the left ended up falling in front of him and I saw his front wheel get ran over and saw it bend. It was really sad, since we weren’t that far into the race. I couldn’t help and just kept pedaling.

While I was trying to pass the younger guy, he slowed down really fast and ended up with me on the outside of his rear wheel and I ended up getting stopped and people passed me. I wasn’t too happy, but it was half of my fault for not realizing that he really didn’t know what he was doing.

Earlier, I did have a friend while passing me managed to run me off the trail. That wasn’t that fun. I lost a couple of places there.

Eventually I did find my flow and started picking people off. I’d see someone, catch up with them and pass them. Sadly, they were mostly the age group before me and not enough in the same age group I was in.

In the last few miles I ended up passing another guy in my age group, and he ended up staying on my rear wheel the rest of the race. I’d keep catching up to people and wanting to rest just a little and do some drafting, but they’d all pull over and let me by. I can’t complain about that, since it was really nice of them to so that, but this guy was getting all this rest on my tail and I was kinda jealous. I just knew he was biding his time to sprint around me like I did with Jose the weekend before. I had to keep my speed up and hopefully drop him, but he wasn’t going anywhere.

I knew we were close to the end, and I came up behind a younger guy and suddenly we could see the finish line. This race has an old volleyball sand pit that is in the last sprint area for the finish. I just gave it everything I had and pedaled straight over the middle, instead of trying to find a more solid route on the edge.

I felt good at the finish, I thought I did we’ll, only to have my hopes crushed when I looked at the results. I wasn’t in tenth, or eleventh, and as I kept looking lower and lower on the list, I just got more disappointed.

I got 18th.

Then I drove home.

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