Leadbelt XC

Much akin to 2008, the 2010 Missouri statewide mountain bike series kicked off at St. Joe State Park under a new moniker, the United Federation of Dirt. Despite the new name, the race exhibited similar tricks. For one weekend a year, an 8 mile stretch of dirt bike trails are passed off as a cross country course. To continue with the theme of tricks, this transmogrification represents the "turn," with the "prestige" being a resultant face melting, as flow is a minuscule concern to those with 250cc, four-stroke, smog machines between their legs. For those of us with less than 400 watts of power in our two "leg" strokes, flow is paramount. Complaints aside, the masochistic side of me has really enjoyed this race each year. It's an ideal location for early in the season due to the lack of elevation and rocky soil. Mark, the race promoter, also seems truly passionate about hosting this event each year.

With a fair amount of base leading up to the series opener, my legs felt robust as I waited at the line for the Cat 1 race, lungs a different story. Off the start, I easily found myself where I wanted to be, second wheel into the singletrack. I followed Zak Hafner for a little over a mile with the rest of the age groupies in tow. The start seemed a little sluggish for an expert race, although given the adverse trail conditions for the day, I was complacent to save some energy. Zak bobbled and hesitated on a slick stretch, in which I capitalized and put in a quick hard pull to separate from the pack. Sitting up after the pull, I noticed that one rider had tagged on. Incredibly matched on power, we traded pulls for the remainder of lap one, slowly putting distance on our cohorts. Hitting the asphalt wheel to wheel at the conclusion of lap 1, we collectively decided to sit up, grab some water, and sneak in a quick chat, having not seen any competitors for a few miles.

Rolling through for lap 2, it was game on. I inched out ahead wanting to hit the singletrack first. I put in a few hard pulls on the false flats and progressively got a little bit of breathing room behind me. All of a sudden, the fellow disappeared from the rearview mirror apparently with a mechanical ending his day. I finished out lap 2 solo.

By lap 3, I managed to catch a Revolution rider and kept within 50 feet or so for the last lap. Needing one hard surge to gap up, I found all of my matches used up. The Revolution rider (the money spot) disappeared up over the last climb, relegating me to a 4th place finish overall, 1st in the 19-29 age bracket. I am incredibly elated! Pre-season training payed huge dividends today. I had a great ride despite less than desirable conditions and know what I need to work on. Granted, this is merely a low priority early race, but I hope it's a sign of prosperous times on the horizon.

Here's to a buck nasty start to 2010.

To see 30 seconds of my butt, then me getting dropped follow this link and fast forward to the 3:20 mark:

1 comment:

Casey Ryback said...

congratulations dude! That's huge! (Let's hope they don't test for jenkem usage...)