So I had planned on going to the Mellow Classic to start off the mtb season. That changed when I got sick and layed in bed the week leading up to the race. Plans changed and I decided to go to Hot Springs, AR for the first round of the USA Cycling ProUET. I was feeling better but was still pretty weak and tired but figured it would be a good training ride if nothing else.
The race started with a run, a long run to the bikes. Then the bikes were in a Triathlon style rack and my bike was too tall so I couldnt get it out until the guy next to me showed up and took his bike. Needless to say I was way behind and Eric Bostrom of Sho-Air was leading a crazy fast start. Luckily there was 3/4 of a mile of gravel, pavement, and doubletrack before the singletrack started. I motored along and made my way towards the front, slotting into the singletrack behind Bryan Fawley of Orbea. There was a bit of a gap to the first group which included Bostrom and Tinker Juarez but I wasnt too worried as I figured it would come back together, or Fawley would pull it back together. Thirty minutes later I was right, Fawley hammered a flat doubletrack section and it was one lead group of 6.
Right as we make contact I go for my water bottle, and drop it. When this happens, there are two options. Stop and get it, or stay with the group and hope you dont regret no drinking. Well, I went for option 3. Slam on the brakes, panic, soft pedal to decide if I should go back, soft pedal some more, watch the group open a big gap, and then decide to go without the bottle. Since the lap is an hour and I wont have anything to drink I decide to back off the pace and just ride my own race.
The trails at Spa City are a blast. I had an excellent time for 3.5 hours and was just cruising along nicely. I had worked my way up to 5th when the lights pretty much went out. One lap was a bit slow, and the next one was ridiculously slow. I guess Im not in shape to ride for that long this early in the year.
I got 7th,,,errr 6th, or 5th, or 1st. Just depends on how you look at it.
lots more pics are here....