Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Smelly Bonelli U.S. Cup Race Update, Fuzzy Style.


Smelli Bonelli! Not so smelly and hot anymore. Actually the course is technical and demanding with punchy climbs and singletrack o'plenty. We were split into two days with the Cat 1/Pros on Saturday and Cat 2/3 on Sunday. 8:30am start on a Saturday, I'll take that anytime. The weather was a little chilly (52F) and foggy right before race time. They had cut a new singletrack downhill section on the backside that was a blast to pre-ride in the morning. Rode with Tinker Juarez for the maximum of two seconds before he dropped me on the warm-ups, man that guy is amazing!

We had 18 riders in our Cat 1 30-34 category which is the largest I've seen for a long time. Had a good start off the bat. Mark, Joy, Mr. Margve and his daughter AJ were on hand cheering on. Felt good on the first lap. Drinking my Amino Vital Mandarin Orange Performance. Got a little too giddy on one downhill section and had to unclip out of my Xpedo pedals just to save myself from flying off into the hillside.

 Those pedals take a licking but keep on clipping! My first lap time was descent at 26 minutes, Sigma Rox 9.0 is always accurate, and had a good handoff with Mark Thome for my second lap. Rolling well, got 4 guys behind me, and was sticking with another two infront from my category. Started to get some momentum and made a good surge on the slow-rise climb on the backside to make a gap on them. I wouldn't see them until the last lap, its called foreshadowing.

Right before getting to the start/finish line we had to go through the grassy park area and I head Mr. Margve yell "Its wet! Be careful". But come on, I've done cyclocross. RAM!!! Slipped out going Mach 2 around the corner and slid in safe. I love my Kenda Karma's, but man that was a surprise. Jay and AJ from Royal had sent me their new Core gloves and those gloves are awesome. Low profile, breathable and great sticky index finger for braking. The Royal socks are very breathable and dry up quick. 3rd lap was going well, was losing some power, and could feel a twinge in my hamstrings. Its all good, I got my Amino Vital. I got worried when my stomach started to growl.

4th lap starts off horrible. Dropped the bottle on the handoff from Joy (my fault?) and it was downhill from there. On the first climb my left hamstring seized up and then the right one. Did the cardinal sin of stopping on the climb and I could not move my legs. Just stuck there in pain and I see one by one the other riders in my category passing by.

Finally lifted my leg up and over the saddle and tried to walk to no avail. The only thing that saved my race and got me to the finish line was my last bottle of Amino Vital. Chugged it all and chugged along in a snail pace through the whole last lap. Even Steven Marshall passed me on the backside, I still love you bro! Thanks to Mark Thome for yelling in my ear on the last climb or else I would have not made it up and over. Ended up in 13th out of the 18. Could have gotten a top ten easily.

Its all good, eat more for an early race, live and learn. I NEED a 29er! Getting killed out there, but its still fun and I'm pushing myself.

Thanks to all that came out; Mark, Mr. Margve, AJ, Troy, and Joy. Of course, thanks to our sponsors Amino Vital, Xpedo, KMC, Formula Brakes, Kenda Tires (Roger), Hydrapak, Sigma, Voler, Royal, and everybody else!

Fontucky is next, gotta get my 26er ready for that,