Day 1 started and finished in Cumberland. Everyone was pretty nervous as we lined up and rolled out of town. We entered the singletrack fairly quickly and I was inside the Top 15 and the pace was very comfortable. I was following Josh Carlson of Giant when we started getting into the slippery roots and rocks. He goes down hard and I run into him a little. Seems like people are having trouble with the slippery conditions and I keep moving up without much effort, when boom. Im on the ground and it takes a good 10 guys passing before I can get back into the line. After the initial singletrack, there is a huge climb. See the elevation chart below.
I started the climb in a good position and at the top I was in a good group that included some fast guys such as past Olympian Andreas Hestler. We started the first Enduro Section right at the top (a timed downhill). I was moving pretty well, passed a few guys and the Hestler passed me in a hurry. I tried to stay on his wheel, which helped me catch up to the Rocky Mountain Duo team and I was happy to follow them. At the bottom of the downhill we hit some more slippery singletrack and they got a little gap. The trails were amazing, the views were amazing, and the Enduro Sections were my favorite part of every day. This is when things went bad. Really Bad.
I missed a turn and got off course. I didnt notice and accidentally got back onto course, but it was part of the course we had already ridden. I thought it looked familiar, and I thought it was weird those guys suddenly disappeared, but I just started going harder to catch back on. After about 15 minutes a motorcycle guy comes up and asks what im doing. He says Im in dead last!! I explain I was inside the top 15, right behind Hestler. He starts leading me back onto the course and another guy is coming down the trail at us, hes off course as well. I was way behind now and had lost some motivation. Should I go really hard to make back up time, or just cruise and save myself for the rest of the week. I did some of both. Day One and Ive lost 15 minutes to the group I was riding with and I was feeling great. Not the start I was looking for. 27th overall after day one, and 30 minutes from the leaders already.
One our way to dinner on Day One in Cumberland.Not in a great mood after riding more than 10k extra.
Complete results can be found HERE.