Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Draper ICUP Race Report 2010

In case you didn't witness it, there was a huge turnout Saturday at the ICUP Draper race at Corner Canyon.  We had 25 people that finished in my category, Sport 35-39.  Also, 28 were in the Sport 30-34 class that started 30 seconds ahead of my group and another 37 in the Sport 40+ that started 30 seconds behind my group.  Let me save you doing the math.  That's 90 guys bunched up on the first section of single track anxious to start racing.  The holeshot was of course fast, but then after the start lap we came to a grinding halt underneath the bridge and I noticed some ahead of me had to balance against the tunnel wall to avoid clipping out of their pedals.  To make matters worse, a bit further up the trail, there was a guy with headphones leisurely enjoying his Saturday mtb ride and as near as I could tell, he was completely oblivious to the fact that a race was on and that he was holding up everyone.

So, needless to say, I was rearing to go once we hit the first short lower fire road climb.  I geared down and  went as hard as I could, knowing I'd get enough of a recovery once the single track started again.  Despite my attack, Miles was right there following me and we passed each other back and forth several times on the first lap.

On the second lap, things were going really well.  I got into a good rhythm on the upper dirt road climb and felt like I was gaining some ground, but of course was only guessing*.  Shortly after dropping down from the outhouse, I took spill #1 (yes, there's more) over the bars as my front tire hit a rock.  Luckily I wasn't going too fast, so after concluding the damage was only skin deep, I quickly hopped back on the bike.

*Don't you hate it when you don't know where you're at in a race?  I need to pay better attention and be sure I stay with the leaders next time from the start.  Then at least if I get dropped, so be it and I'll know it.

Miles and I met up again and traded passing each other back and forth.  It was honestly a ton of fun having that friendly rivalry going on**.

**I haven't mentioned this before, but Miles and I have a common experience in that we both have gone from being out of shape, fat, etc. before we started biking to dropping 50-60+ pounds and now we're racing mountain bikes this season for the first time.

Anyhow, as it turned out, I couldn't hang with Miles at the bottom of the lap and he went by me after the Silica Pits. 

Once I realized I wasn't going to catch Miles and there wasn't much racing left, I decided I just wanted to hold my place, not go down again and finish with my best effort.  The only problem was there were a handful of guys behind me that wanted to pass as I came out of the single track just below the holding pond.  I heard "on your left," but definitely no "on your right" as this other guy tried to pass me on the right at the same time, just I was turning right onto the gravel.  Pretty sure that will cause a wreck every time.  Sure enough......our handlebars got tangled up and we both went down. 

I ended up finishing 7th.  Even though I crashed twice, they weren't too much of a factor in my finish as the guys ahead of me simply rode stronger.

My wife took some good pictures.  She's been really supportive and has come out each week with our 3 boys to watch me ride despite being 9 months pregnant.  A big thanks to her.

Note on this first picture how Darren Harris (I think), who won my category, really wasn't very far ahead after the first start lap.  This is interesting, as I thought the leaders did their damage at the start, but maybe that wasn't necessarily true.

Some more random pictures at the start:
Expert men 19-29

Single-speed (Rick, Nick and Dave)

Expert men 40+

Sport Men 30-34

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