I can't beleive another race at Wausau came down to a three man sprint and was decided less than 5 ft from the line.
Here is the photo sequence from last year. What's crazy is last year we soft pedaled the entire race. Nobody had great legs so we all came to the line together....this year...a different story.
I was coming off of a rest week. Sometimes you feel awesome, sometimes you feel stale. I thought I was feeling pretty good in the warm up, but as soon as we hit the first climb I went backwards....it was a shock to the system. Luckily there were still enough guys that I jumped in at the end of the train and made the first 5 man split. Mr. Tree was at it again...it seems like its always at Wausau that he is off in the woods taking down sapplings... he slowed things down for me when he was over the bars and into the woods on the first singletrack....next it was Eppen who was showing me a hole in his arm as we were starting lap 2. Then the fun and games stopped....
Tristan was ready to race and started attacking early in the 2nd lap. To make a long story short he must have attacked 15 - 20 times on slight climbs or steep climbs. He had the snap that I didn't have...must be all the crit racing he's doing....but I had the Top Fuel and closed the 15-20 attacks each time in the singletrack. Towards the end of the race I wanted to get to the singletrack first, but Tristan wanted to control even more and wouldn't let me lead. On two occasions I was able to pass him before the singletrack and came out with significant gaps, but didn't have the power to stay away. My max HR was 193! That is pretty high for an old man like me....T was hurting me for sure.
In the end it was a perfect mountain bike battle of skills vs fitness and it came down to a sprint that was decided by a bike throw and the fact that my tires were a little knobbier than his....and it helps that he attempted his bike throw with one hand in the air! Good thing I swapped to the DT XR Carbon again this year!
mike phillips deserves some good props, one because he made fun of my power balance bracelet and two because he might have been dropped by tristan more times than me, but still made it back every time and was there for the sprint at the end. nice racing old man!