|Rosco playing Kong & gettin' muddy in Eagle River 2006!|
I arrived at Iola and it was pretty great! It was like coming home from a long vacation. I was happy to be back on the race scene. Friends, coaching clients, Jr. Mtb campers, and competition! I registered and took a quick look at the course and was pretty surprised at the amount of mud.
Back at the car I wasn't confident with my back tire losing air, nor was I confident with my front tire choice that was holding air....so when in doubt just ride your wife's bike....
Yep it was just easier to swap pedals and take to the start line on an old school (2011 Top Fuel 9.9) bike that was a size too small! The smaller bike handled awesome in the mud and the beefy Bontrager XR2's were just the ticket!
Don yelled GO and we were off. Shriver took off from the 3rd row and I was pretty surprised to see Mark Lalonde coming out of retirement and passing me on the first climb from the 5th row! A little stumble from Shriver and Mark and I got a gap...I think Mark was in shock that with a bit of running, some skills, and just a little hard pedaling we were gapping everybody on the first lap.
The initial shock of race pace hurt me, but I settled down pretty fast. I was feeling good on the bike and knew I wanted to be at the front. The group came back together starting lap 2 so I went to the front and went hard for 10 minutes and was alone the rest of the race. Then I just started having fun and ripping the descents and sliding the bike through the singletrack. Maybe a little too much fun though as I burped my front tire - stylin too much on some jumps and had to finish the last lap cautiously on 15 psi...good for the flat muddy sections not good for the cornering.
Final thoughts from the race....again it was awesome to get the first race jitters out of the way and come home with a WIN. I didn't realize this until this morning, but my brand new Bontrager RXL shoes were amazing. You know a brand new pair of shoes is good when you don't even think about them during a race...plus with all that running I learned they are going to be killer come cross season!
Coches Corner: it was a toss up this weekend for my coach's pick of the week...so its a tie. Congrats to Bill Street for 3rd overall in Comp and congrats to Mike Carney 2nd age group in Sport! Last weeks coaches Corner was another tie Congrats to Corey Stelljes who won the Joe Martin Stage 1 TT and to Tom Payn for a 2nd place at the Pontiac Lake TT.