Ore To Shore -
6th place, 2 seconds away from the victory. It always hurts a little to be so close, but yet so far away. The sacrifices, the dedication, and all the hard work to fall 2 seconds short....but then again I've won the race on 3 different occasions the exact same way....with my closest competitor 2 seconds back....
The race started on Friday morning tracking down the UPS guy so I could get my new Oakley Custom Jawbones w/ Photochromic lens. The driver was pumped and so was I to have some new shades(replacements for the ones I lost in the attic earlier this year).
We arrived and I had a good pre-ride on the course. The Fuel felt solid on the bumpy course and the legs were rearin' to go.
Saturday morning brought perfect race day weather and before I knew it we were off. Early in the race on the luge climb and the power line climbs I was in perfect position. I knew if
something were to go it would be one of those 2 spots. After that I relaxed a little and then I think I fell apart. I wasn't ready for the 3 foot deep river we rode through and I was in a bad position. I suffered when I shouldn't have....I was also suffering a little before misery hill when the race was blowing apart, but I found one great line and was back to the leaders...watching and waiting. Nathan was strong and Simonson was strong.
With 6 miles to go the race really started when Simonson threw down a massive attack. I was tracking down a water bottle and the gap was opening. Tristan was struggling and I did a lot of work on the dirt road waiting for some help. TJ pulled through and I was back at the front again...flicked the elbow at the crest of a climb and Derek Graham almost popped me when he came through. In retrospect I should have attacked the group there and split it up instead of trying to work with the guys to bring back Simonson.
Eventually we all came back together....a sprint...I've won a few of these this year...I line up in Simonson's wheel. We realax when we hit the pavement. We shuffle. Guerra attacks everyone responds, except my legs...the cramp so bad I almost buck myself over the bars....I'm pedaling as hard as I can but can't make the legs go in cirlces...I round the corner and know that TJ has the WIN. Congrats to him...he played it perfect.
Andrea and Elicia also raced. Andrea had a rough go of it after crashing multiple times early on in the race with or because of other male racers. She finished with cables and housing flopping in the wind not connected to her bike. Elicia killed it in the short race finishing second and taking home just as much $$$ as me!
After the race we hit stuck to tradition and hit up Main Street Pizza and chowed down in the hotel room with Jamie Tristan and Ellie followed by a trip to meet up with all our friends and share war stories at the awards ceremony.
Then it was vacation time...I needed a break from training, but that doesn't mean no riding. In fact I was on my bike the next three days in a row riding the best MTB trails in the country. Sunday morning we did the new trails at Marquette Mtn with Mike Anderson and his dad, the Adventure 212 team, and a local guide. After that Andrea and I drove Houghton and rode the Tech Trails early Monday morning, and after that we drove up the Keewanaw for a sweet ride at Copper Harbor on Tuesday. We were hoping for more Wednesday at the trails in Swedetown, but we woke up to rain and 60 degrees. We both realized we were blown out so we headed home.
Next up...Andrea is signing up for some college courses, and I'm getting ready for cross season. Time to start going good w/ races the next 3 weekends in a row!
Huge thanks to Andrea for all the support leading up to Ore To Shore, Gear Grinder, and all the other sponsors!