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Friday, August 21, 2009

Race Report WVMBA #11 - Short Chiropractic Dirt Derby - Barboursville, WV

I was seriously considering skipping the race. I was sick all week and feeling pretty cruddy. It was no surprise, the Doctor called the day after race with my test results and my throat culture turned up strep and she upped my antibiotics to something stronger. Feeling like crap I went to the race anyways. I'm second in the series in the Sport Vet category and I really need the wins if I want a shot it. The race started off great but I really started feeling the effects of being sick about half way through.

The race started with a rolling start through the neighborhood south of town where they lead us from the park down to the river trail. This would be the only time we did this part of the loop. After the pace vehicle pealed away the pack turned into a 20 man mountain bike peleton on the road. If you were smart enough to draft it was easy to push over 20 MPH even on knobie tires. It was fun. I got behind David Browne on the way to the trail and we had about 8 experts enter the trail in front of us. Dave and I must have been pushing a decent pace, It seemed slower and was expecting to get caught be a bunch of experts but we pretty much held our position. We hit the woods started doing the flat rolling river trail.

I kept up with Dave for about 2/3 of the race. At first I was feeling really good like I could of pushed it harder and gotten ahead of him but being sick I didn't want to wear myself down and blow up. I was saving up some energy planning on making a really hard break that would put some distance between me and him. It didn't happen a few miles in we hit the climbs and I really started dragging and was just struggling to keep up with him.

About 2/3 of the way through I counted him being 6 seconds in front of me. Instead of trying to push I kept the same pace and closed the gap with him on the fast downhill sections. I figured as long as no one got between me and him I could always close a gap like that on the downhill. We hit the next climb and I still wasn't recovered. I just couldn't push it. My head felt swelled from the infection and the heat and I just let it go and gave up trying to beat him. At mile 13 I really started to break down and for a while just crawled along. That was when another blue plate passed, It looked like a vet. I tried to give chase but I was just wore down. I thought wow not even second place in this one. Lucky me the blue plate turned out to be racing masters.

With about a mile and a half left I recouped and started to push but couldn't close the gap on the masters guy. I saw him 3/4 of the way up the pavement climb up to the finish. He looked hurting and was dogging it. I came flying down out of the woods and just started cranking it up the climb closing the gap from about 100 yards down to about 30 in a few short seconds. When he saw me he just pedaled away. Little bastard, just leading me on. I had enough of pushing it so I just geared down and took my time coming in.

I start pedaling around after the finish looking for David Brown to congratulate him and can't find him anywhere. I head over to the score board and it say I'm 1st in the sport vets ??? Just then I see David Brown crossing the line I'm think how did this happen. Turns out Dave took a wrong turn and had to back track it I guess technical issues and mishaps sometimes work in your favor. I guess I can’t belly ache anymore about my flat I got when I was leading at the Davis race. This one cancels that out.

I'm 2nd in the standings but I may need as many as 2 more wins and the championship to take the series. If it ends up being a tie in points after the championship race I’ll loose the series if Dave has more 1sts and/or 2nds than me.

The course was fun. There is lots and lots of climbing. Trails are generally smooth, there are a few technical sections and rock gardens and a couple technical scary downhills. Trails were mostly dry but we ran across a couple wet spots. I heard this place is a nightmare when it's wet.

There was a really steep climb with a technical rocky section near the top. I call it the money climb. They were giving cash to the first racer who could make it. That was kind of fun. On a good day with fresh legs I could have made it... at least I'd like to think so.. but feeling like dog, in the middle of the race, after several long climbs... I was like no fricken way. As soon as it got steep I hopped off and walked. I was so dead.

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