A long time coming and much needed was our break in the great north woods of Minnesota.
I was coming into the race weekend with what I thought was decent form and a plan in my head of what needed to be done. Over the past few weeks my work load on the bike has shortened and I was a bit nervous about that, not to mention the emotional roller coaster of the Tanks passing.
Saturday morning was a warmer start than the Time Trial usually is,, past few years it is has been a chilly start.. Got warmed up and to the Line.. I was going to start behind Brendan and SKJ with Doug and TJ starting behind me.. At this point I am already in my own head. Went out hard and found a grove, pushed it as hard as I could through the short climbs and flowed the single track. When I popped out on to the ski trail I dropped in to my highest gear and pushed it. Crossed the line in 5th place and got what I hopped to be the first of more payouts to come.
The second event of the day came many hours later ,,,the Short Track....
I have never finished this leg of the weekend and new to this year it was based on laps and no one was getting pulled. The Start was violent and I was able to get into the group. I stayed here for the first 7 of 12 laps,,coming out of one of the last corners I did not match the acceleration and slid back into the chase group. This group has a two teammates and they also had one in the break.. So getting anyone to work with instead of against me was impossible. I went to the front and tried to make something stick but was hit hard at the start of each lap. Bell lap came and I was attacked hard, and crossed the line ninth. Not loosing too much time just pride.
Never once have I gone into Sunday near the GC,, I was seventh and only a few seconds off of fifth place. My two goals on sunday were stick the GC and don't let young Mcburnie get too much a head.. By the time I hit the first single track section I was failing at both.
It was a fight for position and elbow were being thrown,, I got into the trail and went past the
comfort zone,, popping and getting passed on suicide hill.. Head down and charging I pulled with in fifty seconds of the spot that I needed but being such a thickly wood course I had no idea..
I lunged for the line and nipped a young and up-in-commer for the ten spot.
Good weekend and good racing,, just watching all my hard work of the summer slip through my fingers with all the late season fitness that is out there.
I can not say enough about the Richards family and the show that they put on up at Maplelag. They made us fell so welcome and took such great care of me and the family.
Special thanks goes out to Chamois Butt'r for supplying products for goodie bag and race winners.
Now time to get ready for the show in the desert and get ready for the last few races of the MTB season.