Saturday, July 10, 2010

2010: Winter Park Valley Point-to-Point

I wasn't planning on racing in Winter Park this weekend.  I haven't done any of the races in the series this year so I had not keept track of the race schedule.  It turned out to be a fun little race and a good follow up to the Breckenridge 100 Loop 2 Recon I did yesterday.  Rather than racing the expert class as I should have been, I decided to sandbag a little and ride with a teammate in the sport class.  I wasn't really sure if I would have legs anyway given yesterday's long ride.  My goal in the race was to rev the engine for 1 to 2 hours and get some more intensive riding in above 9k.

The race started off with a steep 1/4 mile climb on a dirt road from the bottom of Winter Park Resort.  I was immediately dropped by a few guys and settled in 20 yards behind them with legs protesting.  We then hit singletrack and I was back in the lead pack in short order.  The rider in first place had a slight gap on us.  The next 10-12 miles consisted of 3 of us swapping around between places  2, 3, and 4 with some good teamwork on the road sections.  My legs still hadn't responded much yet so I took in another healthy dose from my gel flask and downed the last 3/4 of my first water bottle.  Once that goodness got into my system my legs came around and I started pushing the pace.  I am still sorting out nutrition details for the longer races later this year so this was some good experimentation to see how my body responds.
Before long I had ridden away from the other 2 riders in my group.  A few minutes later I found myself riding past the lead who appeared to be fading.  I offered to pull for a while but he dropped off my wheel 20-30 seconds later.  I was feeling really good by now so I downed the rest of my nutrition and water and held a strong steady pace through the end. 2 or 3 other riders mounted a comeback in the last mile fighting for 2nd and 3rd (I wasn't looking back at all, just riding steady) and regained most of my lead back finishing 15-20 seconds behind me.  I stood in line for most of this time waiting for my number to be scanned.

I was happy to meet my goals for the day and did a little better than I was planning.  I should have been racing the next class up though. Based on the results, I would have been around 13th placing mid pack.

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