Well, I hope today was my bad day....or the day when my legs are asking "What the hell are you doing!" Off the bike, my body felt fine....but when putting some harder pressure on the pedals, there was nothing there.....until late in the race.
The start was a gradual climb on some pavement....same as Marathon Nationals. I was sitting in top 10 as we hit the first section of singletrack. As we descended down I felt fine and was good with the bike. Behind me was the rest of the 150+ racer field. On the 2nd to last corner I went in too hot and over shot the corner cause me to have to dismount and wait for like 10 guys to go by...the guys I now need to be riding with for the day were way up the trail. Knowing what was to come in the next 10 miles, I settled into my pace for the day hoping to catch them as the day went on.
The climbs today were not as tough as I thought they would be after pre-riding. I was able to get up the climbs in a snappy fashion pushing a light gear at a high rpm.....as to conserve energy. At the middle aid station I switched out bottles and gel flasks. I hit Boreas Pass road and drilled it to the next section of singletrack that would take us over and up to the Iowa Mill. Right after the mill, I was able to catch Aaron Potts....the guy closest to me in the GC...and a good friend. Aaron knew I was tired...and drilled it early in the race...and to get some time on me. I followed him down some singletrack...and down the road from Sally Barber Mine. Once we hit the open road, I started to feel much better with my power to the pedals. Here I pushed up my speed as we began to climb. At the summit of the last climb, I got the pace as high as I could go without red-lining and ruining my chances of good racing the rest of the week. I was able to hold off any riders behind me....and put minutes into them. After finishing the stage I felt good....wishing I had felt that good earlier in the race. Final official result yet to come....thinking just out of the top 10 today. Keep an eye here.
Now on with the post race routine: Recovery drink, stretching, bike washing, food, sleep, repeat.
Huge stage tomorrow....the hardest of them all at almost 50 miles. Take a look!
Looking for coverage of the race? Check out MTB Race News, Mountain Flyer, and the Breck-Epic website.