WB50 course did not really suit me. I hate, hate, HATE neutral starts in a peleton. Ugh. I am the worst at those. So by the time we got to Soldier Hollow where the race started in earnest, I was behind my competition and a lot of other riders. I tried to pick my way through, but the legs did not have much snap. I was beginning to question whether throwing the 30 tooth chain ring on my 1X10 was a mistake.
Then it was a long, long, long dirt road climb. I could not find a good rhythm and watched as my competition continued to ride away. My goal was just to push consistently. I did not pre-ride any of the course and when I had asked people about it almost all mentioned how beautiful the scenery was. Since I was not going so fast, I tried to look up from time to time to catch a view. And it really was quite breathtaking--but that could have been the race too.
I was super excited to hit the downhill. That was a blast. Then there were a couple of single track-ish flatter portions that I also enjoyed since I was on my full suspension. I was very grateful to be on it as opposed my hardtail which I almost rode.
Then it was back to the bottom of the dirt road, just above Soldier Hollow for a repeat of the road climb and then descent. This time I was more upbeat about the climb. I continued to push my pace and began catching people. Then I saw E. I could tell she was struggling. I really wanted to get in front of her before the downhill, so I put in a hard effort. The descent ended up being further away than I remembered or anticipated, but I still was able to get a gap.
The descent the second time was equally thrilling as the first. Maybe more so as I had seen it and could carry a little more speed, knowing what to anticipate.
I ended up in 4th and am pretty content with that given the situation. The 30t was a fine choice and never really needed anything lower. Although, I did see if I had any lower gears countless times, but I would have likely done the same with my 28t.
While waiting, waiting, and waiting for the awards, a big thunderstorm hit. Luckily, I brought my umbrella which Chris and I sat under while others took shelter elsewhere. We still got pretty wet though. All in all it was a good day and am excited to have some bigger miles in the legs.