After last weekend, my main objective for the week was to recover. And I believe I was successful. Coming into the race I was nervous though. While the weather was colder and wetter than I would have like this week, we were still able to squeeze in some rides. And as the week progressed, I felt worse and worse on the bike. Based on our pre-ride last night, I was anticipating the legs to feel heavy and sluggish today.
My category lined up with the Expert Men 40+. For Sundance, they are a nice group to start with. I got to the line later than the rest of the group because I was warming up and so I ended up a couple of rows back. I was not too concerned with this. When we started I again was off the back for just a bit. By mid way through the road climb though I passed the bulk of the women. I was feeling pretty good. Entering the single track there was a guy between me and what I thought was the lead women. I told him, he had to keep me in touch with her. He did a fair job, but seemed a bit relieved when I asked if I could just pass him. Then the two off us caught a group of five guys or so. We stayed behind them for a bit and I was patient. Finally, I asked from way back if we could pass. A couple of guys echoed the sentiment and we passed the lead guy and the group broke up. I rode the first half of the race with the "Roosters girl", who I later identified as Kelsey Bingham. I asked if she was the first women and was surprised when she said someone was in front of her. She, Kelsey, was riding really well. On the third lap, she rode off. I then became more concerned with the fourth place girls who seemed to be catching. I kept telling my legs to go and they kept screaming back that they were tired. Then again, they should have been. I was able to hold on to third. With eight women at the start, I even made about six bucks or so on the day. Yippee!
The course was in surprisingly good shape. There were three muddy spots, but only one seemed to have much of on impact on my race. The puddle at the top before the descent, grew about twice its original size between the first and second lap. This caught me off guard. I got caught a bit in it--nothing too serious, it just slowed me down some. I also did not feel as smooth as I would have like on the downhill switchbacks, but much better than the day before.