Monday, September 11, 2006

Root 66 Landmine XC Race Report

With everything going swimmingly with Seneca, jenn gave me the green light to race this wknd's XC in Hingham's Wompatuk State Park, 40mins from home. Thom and I cruised-down pretty early, got our pre-ride on and kicked it w/the some of the usual faces, including new IFab SS'er Mike Ramponi. That dude rips!

Pro class first, then Experts with SS'ers going-off in the middle. Thom showed his skillz by getting into a track-stand for the start, a guy next to me asks, "is he a friend of yours?" why? freaked? you should be.

after the mishap a few wks before w/the regular tires on ust rims, i'm back to ust tires for now. as i mounted them up at 10pm, totally zonked from being a new dad, Stans blasted from a tear in one of the kick-ass
Hutchinson Piranha's. instead of being bummed i got fired-up to race w/an old friend on the front - a 1.95 IRC Serac - super burly aggressive tire, but man does it give confidence in the corners.

started 3rd wheel, had never ridden Wompatuk trails before, couldn't see anything, so decided to make a move and get clear early. kicked the tempo into "traffic light just turned red" pace and opened a small gap. my legs burned bad from the effort and on the first climb was worried that i'd made a serious mistake, lactic acid wasn't clearing as it had a few wks before. but, the gap held and over the course of the first 9.5m lap picked-off riders in the classes that started earlier constantly scanning for Thom's jersey. at mile 4 or so saw an IF jersey, but it was Mike Ramponi who's water-bottle cage had fallen-loose on his brand-spanking new fully-rigid SS Steel Deluxe and he'd stopped to fix... he later mentioned that going-by him at mac-speed on the fireroad, no
t slowing to allow an ss'er to grab a geared wheel was un-cool and he's right, sorry mike.

within a mile or two of the second lap I found Thom and when we hit the fireroad he grabbed the wheel and away we went, ripping an inspired 42 minute lap. only thing that could have been more fun (as i was smiling like a fool, jumping-off and over obstacles, just having a blast) is if i'd have thought to slow for mike ramponi and it was the 3 of us versus just Thom and I. as we ripped along my goal for the race changed from winning my class, to posting the fastest Expert time for the day, which kept the tempo high minus a few breaks in pace to stretch a sore back and eat some gels.

On the 3rd and final lap Thom showed me what tough is by taking some pulls on the ss-unfriendly fireroads. that dude is tough-as. plus, it was great to ride with someone looking-out fer ya - for example, as i jumped
over a muddy obstacle and slammed the rear tire hard he reminded me i had a race to win and to stop playing-around (but it was tough as i was having way too much fun!).

with 3m to go i uncorked it and sped to the finish, thom, then mike ramponi cruising across right after (1-2 in SS). For me, the race destroyed a key mental barrier, end-up posting the fastest expert time and was 5mins back from the fastest overall time of the day in the open class. this was by no means a stacked field, but there were enough folks there to feel confident that the win was legit and that moving into the semi-pro ranks is warranted, especially considering how little sleep or riding i've done recently...

One more mtbike race to go - the VT50 in 2wks - and am feeling more and more confident i can hold some wheels i never thought i'd be able to touch. sweet.

Finally on top step, damn monkey is off my back.

Thom on the top step as usual, with Ramponi a cool 2nd.


At 9/11/2006 7:48 PM, Blogger Jason said...

Great result (new) daddy-0.
Sounds like one to remember.



At 9/13/2006 4:17 PM, Blogger Matt DeMeis said...

Way to pull it out man. Enjoy the new little bundle!



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