Thursday, September 29, 2011

Moving Up

The third stage of the Pisgah MTB Stage Race, the Carl Schenck loop, was almost perfect for me. It is the shortest stage of the race and was held on mostly single track trails. For only being 25 miles long, there was still a lot of climbing, but the course didn't have any of the super long sustained climbs like the two previous days.

The race kind of had a slower start today, which was good because my legs were definitely feeling the past two days of racing.  The only person that seemed like he wanted to go fast was my nearest competitor, Garth Prosser.  He took off and everybody just watched him go.  I was happy to sit it the field of riders and wait for my legs to feel like they wanted to pedal.

Not long after Garth took off up the initial climb, I saw him jump off his bike and start messing with his rear wheel.  As we all rode by him, I said out loud, "I guess this means that I have to attack now."  I heard someone in the pack say, "I would!"  And, so I did.

I took off and starting riding hard, thinking that the climb wasn't going to go on for much longer.  It did and I got absorbed by the top five riders or so going into the single track.  I glanced over my shoulder before entering the trails and Garth was no where to be seen.  I did my best to stay on the gas for the entire race.  My main goal today was to gain back some time on Garth, but these trails were so much fun that going fast didn't seem to take that much mental effort.

By the end of the race, I finished as the second elite 40+ rider behind Andy Johnson, but five minutes faster than Garth.  My finishing time today moved me into second overall with about a 2 minute gap over Garth.  I would have rather beat him straight-up, but this is mtb racing and mechanicals will happen.  My Salsa/Notubes ride has been trouble free so far and hopefully my luck will continue over the next two hard days of racing.

Happy Trails...  Gerry

Thanks to Dan Bennett for the photo.

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