Yee haw...60 degrees, rain, mud, wet, slippery...just how I like it! I don't really like the energy required for clean up afterwards, but the race conditions were pretty good!
It was more like a midwest style. Long dirt road lead out, to some slippery single track, to another dirt road, to a gnarly singletrack hike a bike, to paved road in the middle, to more dirt road climbing, to a killer double track climb and one last downhill to the finished.
I started the day 3rd in GC, but first in the Enduro points competition. Early in the race Sam Koerber apparently dropped his chain and never caught back on. After a while it was just Justin and myself. Justin had no reason to crush it during the first enduro segment so he waited as I swiped in and out....we then started to work together on the paved and dirt roads in the middle of the race.
3/4 of the way through there was a long never ending pave climb to dirt road climb that Justin was pushing forward on...the next killer 2 track climb I sensed some weakness and I pushed the pace, but couldn't shake him. It's hard to really crush it when you don't know what is over the top of the hill...or even where the top of the hill is...
On the last descent I stopped for the Enduro segment and Justin rolled through and got a 10 second gap, but he was out of sight....I swapped out of the Enduro segment and proceeded to crush it, but with the final Enduro so close to the finish there was no way to close the gap. I finished 2nd on the stage and hopefully had some solid enduro times. More importantly I think I moved up to 2nd place in the GC. Justin has a comfy lead.
So far the bikes have been dialed. Superfly 100 with 29inch wheels is definitely the ticket in these parts. Huge rock gardens along with super high speed sections...can't go wrong. Rock Shox with dual hydraulic lockouts give me plenty of platform for the climbs. A little ProGold after each race and the bikes are shining in no time. Extreme lube for todays stage had the Shimano drive working flawlessly! Stoked.
Tomorrow is the Enduro stage where all riders have to swipe in and out....can't wait! FUEL EX Time!