Sunday, March 22, 2009

GCS #1: East Macon

What a great day outside and a great race. I raced the 40+ Expert (Cat 1) race on the single-speed and the field was stacked with very good racers. Shane and I were the only two SS guys in an otherwise geared field and today the 34x17 was a magic gear.

I was gapped at the start through the awesome bmx track and had to fight back up. I was a little concerned about 5 laps (30.5 miles) in the expert class but went for it the whole race. My first lap was ok and I got caught up behind some gearies on the small but very steep, rooty and twisty climb near the start. I was able to pass some and had a nice crash passing someone. At laps end I had no idea where I was in the standings but I felt very good so I kept putting it on. Shane had about 3 minutes on me at this point.

The second lap was a lot like the first and I was able to pick off more guys and move up. I have to say that today most of the 20+ experts would not yield properly so I could pass. I have a bad rep for coming up on people and not warning them but today I gave a lot of warnings and twice I hit the ground because guys would not move an inch. I don't want guys pulling over, just move over a bit.

The third lap was my best and I put on full gas because Jeff Clayton (SS state champ on a geared bike) was about 30 seconds behind and closing. The course was 1/3 flat, 1/3 twisty/sandy, and 1/3 climbing and the last third each lap I was able to put a little time on him. I was so focused on him that I did not know that the guy in front of me about 10 seconds off was in 3rd place. Doh!

The fourth lap I began to hurt. Legs were getting tight but I was able to climb well and at the start of the fifth lap I had maybe a minute on Jeff. The fifth lap I began to really get tight and had to just hold on. The climbs were now very hard and the flat stuff I was railing an hour ago I was creeping on now. The flat stuff between climbs was irritating and I wanted the climbs to start. As we got to the sandbox and infield Jeff was in sight but I had to keep on some pressure to hold him off and I think I did by about 20 seconds.

I predicted Shane would win and he did. I asked him how hard it was and he said that it wasn't. Thirty miles to him is just a warm up considering the ultra stuff he does. I am very happy for him to win on the SS in a very tough greared expert class. Hats off.

I came in 4th and I doubt I would have caught the guy in front for 3rd. I am very happy as I type and drink my Orval.

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