Friday night I had thought I would drive up to Nebraska for the Platte River race, but learned that it had been cancelled due to weather. This seems to always be the case with Nebraska races for me. I was pretty happy about this though, as it meant a much shorter drive to St. Joe for the next round of the UFD series. I did think it would be muddy in St. Joe, so I traded out my race wheels for my heavy duty training wheels and tires so I would have some grip in the mud. Those tires are beasts that weigh something like 800 grams each, instead of my usual 400 grams each.
The race started at the bottom of the park, which meant a long road climb up to the trail head. Travis took the lead as nobody really wanted to pull the whole group up the climb. Halfway up Jeffrey Winkler went to the front and picked up the tempo a bit. I slid in behind and went by closer to the top. I turned around close to the top to see a long string of single file riders, so we must have been going hard enough. Entering the trail I had a bit of a gap. The trail was a series of short steep climbs and short descents. Non-stop either going up or down. It was in perfect shape. The course kept doing U-turns and switchbacks so you could always gauge the riders behind, and it was hard to get completely out of sight. Halfway through the first lap I had opened up a nice gap, but wasnt feeling great and wasnt able to really get away. The second half the lap saw some longer climbs which meant I had to switch out of the big ring. When I did this I found the rear derailleur not to be working quite right. It was bugging me more than really affecting the riding but I stopped to try and work it out. Winkler came by pretty quickly and I didnt want to mess with it too long. I jumped back on and tried to ride back up to Jeff but I must have been stopped longer than I thought as he was out of sight. Plus he's fast. At the end of the first lap I was getting closer and put in a bigger effort to catch back up. My second lap went well as I passed Winkler and put some time on him. I got out of sight which was nice, but I kept getting distacted and not really focusing until I would hear him creaping back up again. Towards the end of the last lap some motivation came back, mainly from not wanting a sprint finish and I cruised in with maybe a minute lead.
All and all it was a fun day of trail riding. It was about a two hour race but didnt seem that long which was good because Im starting to get tired. The last 3 weeks have been my biggest weeks of the year and ive got the biggest one yet and a race in Columbia before some well deserved rest. Im hoping I dont get completely exhausted before then.
Racing close to home is great. Slept in, raced, ate dinner, motorcycle ride, and now watching a movie. Plus tomorrow is Sunday which is perfect for a long bicycle ride and a mother's day. Once again thanks to Matt Brown and High Gear for being out in full force, especially for doing some bike adjustments for the second week in a row for me.