The Maine Sport Run Off
In a way, I'd been looking forward to this race all year. I don't ride there much anymore but it's as close to a home course as I've got and it plays to my historical strengths, climbing and technical singletrack. Sadly, my historical strengths aren't necessarily my current strengths. My tech singletrack skillz are still good by my climbing has been wanting this year so I hoped to at least capitalize on knowing the trails well. With that in mind, I hit up the Bowl's trails about ten times in the last month, enough to get used to the opening 20 minute climb and to get a feel for the flow of the trail. Sadly, Mad Mike changed the course several times during the week leading up to the race, including a change the night before negating much of my pre-riding. Of course, the changes he made were all for the better and actually eliminated a couple of my trouble spots so I'm not complaining.
The day of the race, during my warm-up loop, I got to thinking of my performances this year and how I've faded late in races on a couple of occasions. Knowing that this would be a long-ish race (around 2 hrs) I decided to cut my warm-up super short (for me) and ended up with less than 20 minutes about an hour before the race. Sure, I'd be somewhat cooled off by race time but at least I'd have gas in the tank. At least I hoped. I also decided to not try to stay near the front on the first lap. A few years back, when I won the overall in this race, I did it by starting slow and coming on strong late in the race so I decided to try that tactic again. Let's see how it went!
the start line. as usual I'm about a head taller than anyone else.
wait for me!
Towards the end of the lap, I caught up with these two dudes who had passed me on the first climb.
maybe I should try singlespeeding! :)