Climbing, climbing and more climbing pretty much sums up both days. Here's a little recap;
The morning started off less than ideal where it wasn't for sure that we were even going, by 7 we were out the door and a little behind schedule. Got to the race site just after 9 with enough time to sign up, get the number pinned, suit up and ride to the start. I rode down the road for 15 seconds to see if my legs could even turn the crank arms, it'll have to do.
The first climb was a little bit of a shock and I decided to do a little attack and found myself off the front for a bit, once I got back in I started following everything that went and by the top I was hoping we would start going down soon because I was red-lining pretty bad. De Cal should be able to post up some better descriptions of the climb when he checks his Garmin file. It was LONG, not so much steep, there's nothing like that around here. The descent was pretty tamed and I felt like shit starting the second climb.
I survived, we'll put it that way, sat in the whole time and anyone that attacked I would wait for someone to come by and grab their wheel to bridge. The second climb was a little shorter than the first one but it was steeper because I was barely in my 39T on the first climb but I found myself in it a few times on the second climb. I was relying on a super-high cadence to hang on because I couldn't find any power. Back down and around to where we started and it was time to do it again.
The race was two laps of climb, descend, climb, descend. There was no time spent in the valley at all to get the legs ready to go up, but before starting the second lap it was flat for a k or 2. I felt much better going up the first climb for the second time, when attacks were going I felt much more responsive, De Cal was going with or shutting down anything. Anytime I would go off the front with a couple guys it was guaranteed that when I looked back it was De Cal effortlessly closing down the gap (at least it looked effortless). The descent was pretty calm again, one guy off the front but we had plenty of time to catch him on the next climb. Turning right to begin what would be the toughest climb of my life, I was mentally prepared for the worst.
My goal was to hang on to the lead group until the end, finishing result didn't matter so much, I was prepared to empty the tank to hang on knowing I would have nothing left for the end. Attack after attack, I just kept my head down and hammered, I don't really no what happened between the top and bottom but there was alot of pain involved. By the top, three guys (or so I thought) were off the front and the gap was a little too big for my liking once we started the descent. I was feeling alright so I went up front and pushed the pace, De Cal was right there and before I knew it we had a good pace train going. Spinning out our 53x11s we were determined to reel them in, by the bottom they still had a good gap so the echelon began, we didn't have much time before the end. I was cooked and screwed up the pace for a sec so I dropped back and hung on for a couple pulls then I hopped right back in, we reeled them in and the pace instantly dropped so people can recover for the sprint. I had nothing left and that didn't change for the sprint. 9th in my first S1/2 race isn't too bad at all, the form is starting to come around
Big ups to De Cal and Csikos for a solid ride
We did a bike and luggage swap with De Cal so there's enough room for me in the vehicle, we made our way over to Jamestown where we were staying. Had an awesome apple spice muffin from a bakery and enjoyed our huge selection of TV channels at the Best Western. After a delicious Italian dinner we headed out on our mtbs for a little cruise by the river. Saw a beaver, built an awesome North Shore style skinny line that we sessioned for a bit until De Cal flatted, I rode back to the room for some flat repair and we finished off the ride with some more skinny sessionning. An attempt at stretching, bed time.