Monday, June 08, 2009

Vegas Bob And Slow Death By Heat.

Hiya Cap'n
This weekend didn't go so great (ummm, kinda like every other one this year). But I had some fun.
First, since I carpooled up with the SuperD power duo of V-dog and The Hitman, I decided it was finally my time to jump in the mix. The course was completely taken from sections of the XC course, so after racing there for 4 years, including winning last year, and doing two pre-runs right on Brant's heels, I felt I was more than ready. The biggest factor for me was keeping warmed up for the start. I've done downhill races with friends before, and the whole waiting-in-line straight to full-speed DH doesn't do well for my technical skills. Luckily there is a big open area at the top around the starting block, so there was plenty of room to ride around, run in place, and throw a few Rockette legs kicks in to keep the blood flowing to my legs.
I had a couple little issues on my run, though. I failed to clip one foot in down the start ramp and it took me 4 or 5 pedals strokes before I got into and could pedal at full power. I had one other corner on the course where I came unclipped which I'm sure cost me a few seconds. A couple of the corners I definitely braked too hard for also. The race took over nine minutes, and not having done SuperD before it was really difficult for me to judge how hard to hammer through the middle section. Should I save some for the finish, or what? Well, the finish straight was definitely longer than I expected and it hurt getting across the line, but I gave it my all.
I heard the time as I came in and was 6 seconds slower than Brant, but honestly I had no idea if that was a lot or not. I know DH races are sometimes decided by tenths of seconds, but obviously they are shorter than SD. Well I came in at 9:33, but the winner was sub 9 minutes so I was relegated to 7th, but I guess it's not bad for my first time out.

After heading to the hotel room with the gang, a welcome soak in the jacuzzi and then a big dinner of salad, spaghetti n sausage and garlic bread was all I needed in preparation for XC.
On Sunday it was warmer than Saturday, and super humid. Only an occasional cloud would drift by to offer a few degrees of solice. WIth a 1:30 start time we were easily racing in the worst part of the day. After winning last year, I new a good start was important, especially with a big category. With all the swoopy turns on the course, getting stuck behind someone with questionable technical skills would be bad. 3/4 up the first climb I was gassed, though, and most of my category swept by. On the second climb and across the top I actually thought I felt feverish, and even dousing my head and back with ice water from my bottle seemed to offer only temporary respite. I had to back way off of my pace and soon the few in my category left behind me would pass and leave me in the dust. In the downhill sections I was holding my own, but less and less each successive lap as the climbs and the heat took their toll. To add insult to injury, my bottle of Amino Vital had managed to jump free of the cage on the Carbide at some point in the first lap. Gels and Amino Fast charge helped, but they're supposed to be in addition to my bottle, not instead of. So I suffered horribly and was left to battle "Not so Big" Steve Marshall from Bear Valley Bikes for last man on the course. The only way I beat him was because of my technical skills and my ability to narrowly avoid leg cramps by running the entire last lap in granny gear.

Hopefully a better race report next time!


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