Tuesday, April 6, 2010

2010: Front Range MTB Series #1 Bear Creek

Last Saturday I tackled the first XC race of the season along with my NG teammates Michael Mequi and Jeff Leischner. The venue was Bear Creek Lake Park on a fast 3-mile course (A=5 laps, B=4 laps, C=3 laps). I had a great time watching the pros hammer out the Men's A race and pulling out a respectable 7th place in the Men's B.

The course started out with a "hammer down" climb up a wide gravel road, past the registration area, funneling into the first section of singletrack. Watching the A race hammer this out was impressive to say the least. From the singletrack a steady climb over a wooden bridge to the first kicker and then off the back side for some more fast singletrack along the road with a few hairpin turns. The riders got a really good taste of the 15-20mph crosswinds on this section of the course. I was blown out of the singletrack at least twice coming close to eating dirt. Next up was a fast drop onto doubletrack (all big ring here) followed by the second steep climb. Many of the SS riders were walking this section although I did see one guy make the climb. I sat back just a bit to let him finish (kudos whoever you were that was RAD). The last section was again fast doubletrack. I'm guessing speeds here were between 20 and 30mph. I was in the biggest gear and spinning my guts out. A quick hairpin turn and a mild climb finished off the effort rewarded by a fast singletrack drop. This was my favorite downhill drop of the race. After this drop it was a quick right turn back onto the gravel road, up the hill, and onto the next loop.

For the most part I was happy with my race performance. One regret I have was not pushing hard enough at the start of the race. I lost the lead pack of riders on the first climb and got caught up behind some slower riders leading into the first section of singletrack. I had more NOS in the tank at that point and wish I would have used it on the first uphill attack. After gaining a few positions in laps 1 and 2 I rode by myself the remainder of the race. I think if I could have stuck with the lead group I would have had a chance at a top 5 finish. This winds made riding in a group a much better option for success.

Mountain Flyer Article 

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