Friday, April 25, 2008

Rewind: DSG 2007, Part 2

This fine gentleman fired a shotgun to start the race... Welcome to Fayetteville

I didn’t grow up on a farm. Maybe if I had, I would have known that fields have holes in them… big holes. I made it about 10 steps, and then my right foot went down in a 2 foot deep hole. Instantly, I was on the ground and sliding down the wet hill like it was a slip n slide. Fifteen seconds in, and I’m already “that guy.” 10 or 20 feet later, I was able to stop the slide and get back on my feet. I even managed to make it the rest of the way to my bike without incidence. After catching back up to Jeremy on the gravel road, we were soon joined by another rider, who for the sake of anonymity will be named “JT.” JT recognized me from a XC race earlier in the season, so we were greeted with a hearty “Hay thar Bike Zoo.” JT was quite the little conversationalist. Jeremy and I were sort of breathing hard on the first few climbs, and JT’s conversation never even paused, he’s got some lungs. Half an hour and around 500 “uh-huhs” later, Jeremy took off, and left me with JT. Jeremy underestimates my sneakiness. I made it ten minutes before I turned around and told JT that I wasn’t feeling well, and that he should go ahead by me. In the open field starting the second lap, Jeremy soon heard, “Hay Bike Zoo, I’m coming, I’ll be up thar in second.” And then JT sprinted away up to catch Jeremy. What’s that I hear? Nothing…

The race itself was quite rough, with 3 major climbs that required the granny gear after only a lap or two. The course was a good mix of rocky doubletrack, wide-open fields, and twisty singletrack. Even with the full suspension, it was beating me up after a few hours. Jeremy and I settled into second and third in the amateur. I never really felt great, and Jeremy was putting a minute or so a lap onto me. At least I was pulling away from the guy in fourth. The last hill on the course was especially painful. Even in the granny gear, it was just steep and rocky enough to bring the hurt after a few laps in. About halfway through, I finally started gaining a bit on Jeremy and began trying to pull back the 10 minutes or so he had on me. About this time, we saw JT lying in a truck on the side of the course. “You OK JT?”… “I don’t feel so good; I should’ve eaten more than water and bananas.” Yea, that’s probably a safe bet.

I finally caught a break with 2 laps left when Jeremy got a flat, and I went by him as he was fixing it. Knowing Jeremy’s XC speed, I gunned it, and hoped to never see him again. This worked for a little over a lap. And then it happened… As the course doubled back on itself, I looked over and saw Jeremy coming up on me, and he was only about 30 yards back. Apparently the expletives that immediately slipped out of my lips were more audible than I thought, as Jeremy’s head snapped up instantly and he saw me. So we both took off, but Jeremy caught me as I went down trying to cut a corner too sharp on the descent. The rest of the course was open flats along with the one bad climb. I was able to bridge the gap on the flat, and luckily Jeremy had toasted himself catching up to me, so he didn’t even jump on my wheel when I went by. I put a minute or two on him in the last mile and finished up the race in second.

66.67% SCO Podium


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