Thursday, July 28, 2011

Not alot of Solitude

It has not been uncommon for me to race by myself. My field tends to be small and we commonly get spaced out. I was anticipating this for the Solitude ICUP race.
First, I thought there was a chance I would be alone on the start line. There was  Pro XC race in MT and I knew that some had plans to race it. I had not seen anyone before my warm up and started figuring out my game plan. Maybe I would do more distance (Ed let's us make changes on the start line if the group unanimously agrees and if I was by myself who would protest) but take it down a notch. Needless to say I was surprised to see ET pedaling around in the parking lot upon my return from pre-riding.
ET said the Katherine O'Shea was there too. Son of a...! So much for being just me and taking it easy. KO is the National Champion from Australia. She raced Deer Valley with Kathy while the rest of us chased for third. She is in PC for a bit to do some training and get some altitude. That is what I had heard anyway.
I obviously needed a new game plan. ET said she was going to go out with KO and see how long she could hold her wheel. I wished her luck and said I was going to do my own thing and hopefully rev up and find a nice race pace. I think I am done pegging it at the start. In fact, HC, Expert W, took off in front of me, but then sat up a bit to let me get in the single track before her. She should not have done that. I planned on coming around her by then.
While KO and ET put some distance on me at the start, I started seeing ET on the first double track climb. (Note: She was having a very off day). I was able to enter the next single track before her. She cheered me as I gapped her--she races like I do. I started to see KO as we continued to climb and climb.
Coming out of the descent
There were to steep pitches before the single track descent at the top of the course. KO did not carry momentum and had to really push through them. I was able to squeak by her and enter first. Yep, I passed a National Champion. This is one of my crowning achievements...and it was short lived.
I could hear and feel her as we descended. About half way down, I had wished I did not pass her. Why had I done that? Oh, yeah. Because I did not think she was descending so fast due to the fast as I caught her. When we got to the short road section before the start/finish, I let her by. I hate that last little descent and can never find my rhythm. At that point I was embarrassed for one of two reasons:
1. Because I passed her and she saw the way I descended.
2. Because I gave her a free pass in a MTB race.
(which is worse?)
I saw her most of the second lap but could never really close the gap. She put more time on me on the third lap, but I did see her once or twice.
None the less, it was still a really good day for me.

And Chris finished 1st because he is a stud.


Heather said...

ha ha, I got terrified of being up there with you girls. I always peg it at the start and right away I didn't want to be there. I didn't want to get in your way for sure! Especially through those yuck first two rocky sections. You just keep getting faster every race. I swear I am getting slower! But next time don't let her by! That is my opinion!

KC said...

Which is more important descending faster or how you look. I don't think you should have pulled over. You should celebrate your accomplishment and wait until she passes or needs to pass! If I was in front of you I would be doing the pedal dance. So next time do the pedal dance and haul on down the course.