Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hitting The Redline In Sundance

Tonight I participated in one of the Weekly Race Series races at Sundance Resort which is about 15 min east of Provo, Utah in the shadow of Mount Timpanogos.  This was one of 17 short XC races in the series which bounces between Soldier Hollow and Sundance every Wednesday.  I tagged along with Keith Payne, team manager of the local Mad Dog Race Team here in Utah county.  Keith has been in his role as team manager for over 10 years.  The team had a very strong showing at this evenings race and it was great to meet and race with a few of the members.  For anyone that isn't aware, northern Utah has some AMAZING singletrack.  Sundance is no exception.

The course was pretty straight forward: 3-laps that climb up one side of the resort and descend down the other (clockwise starting at the bottom in the photo shown above) with a short uphill start on paved road.  The whole race was just under 2k elevation gain in10 miles.

The race started as expected: hammer-down up the road to the singletrack (not my forte).

I rode 1/2 of the race with Keith sticking on his back wheel until mid lap 2 where he let me by (apparently had enough of my loud breathing on his wheel).  Keith has a strong engine and a good downhill game.  He had no trouble keeping up with me on my dual-springer on the downhill riding his hard-tail 29" Gary Fisher Superfly.  It was pretty rough in sections and he held the bike to the trail really well.  I rode a little timidly on the descents for the first 2 laps not knowing the trail really well even after a pre-race lap.

By lap 3 I was sitting in 5th place with Keith and another rider a few turns behind.  I settled into a good pace (I'm hard-coded to endurance racing at this point) and maintained my lead on those behind me as we all closed the gap between the 3rd and 4th place riders who were riding together.  A final straightaway at the top and it was all downhill to the finish line.  I knew from lap 2 that the rider with Keith (and Keith himself) had a strong downhill game so I needed to bomb the descent to try and hold them off.

The plan was working until ...

1/4 way down I heard my back tire hiss as I mowed over a rough, rocky section.  Great I thought as I started getting sprays of Stan's on my backside. I rode a little further then stopped and injected some compressed air, then rode a little more and repeated hoping the hole was small enough to seal up.  This process took a few min but did work.  By then Keith and two other riders had passed me.  The good news was that my tire sealed up and I would not have to throw in a tube.  The bad news was that I had slid back to 9th where I remained to the finish.

Good times!

Riding to the race with Keith Payne.  Adam Lisonbee is on the phone.

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