Monday, June 25, 2007

Putney / West Hill XC

woke-up to a near bluebird day, loaded-up the family and headed-down to putney vermont for the 7th race of the norba root66 xc series. mikey-j smoked a pork shoulder the night before that was stupid good, maybe the best ever bbq'd, hard to say, will have to keep taste testing, beers flowing, bonfire going, was hard to keep it in check. a clear head and bounce in the step sunday morning had me almost more nervous, no excuses today. was in a bit of a mood en route, nervous, hoped to have a good one. bumped into Mo at registration and she reminded me that we do this for fun. no doubt, need that advice sometimes.

staged in a small field under a row of varied colored leader's jerseys blowing in the breeze, prayer flags for dirt freaks. Five 4-5m laps for us, hit the woods mid-pack in a congo line. justin (finn) and john (foley) seemed to escape early. brett (racine) soon passed as i slipped around a cpl guys into 4th w/chris (hamlin) on the wheel up the first climb. brett was sidelined shortly after w/a broken chain, figured i'd see him again before the finish.

would catch glimpses of john early-on, after that thought he was way up, the short flowing switchbacks of the course making it hard to mark the competition. the trails were in perfect condition, fast smooth flowing singletrack w/a cpl technical sections thrown-in to keep ya' honest. a cpl of the descents had a few tricks and was having a lot of fun picking lines at high-speed, the hardtail bucking, a great roller on the 2nd to last descent had me skying-out the Steel Deluxe a bit, couldn't wait to get to that portion of the course each lap.

would occasionally try to shake chris, but he refused to let go, could open-up a small gap on a climb or go no-brakes on a descent, but he'd charge back within moments, especially in the singletrack. brett caught us at the end of the 3rd lap, a few minutes later i looked back to ask if he wanted to drive the bus and he was gone, chain snapped again.

raced against chris at Flower Power in late may and he was stronger in that 60min speed-fest. tried to ride smart on the 4th lap, save a little for the end. bumped into Mo on a technical climb, she was looking strong, going-on to win the women's open race!

picked-up the pace a tad on the 5th and final lap, felt a cramp coming-on in the hammie w/the effort, hadn't drank enough and was forced to settle-down and stretch it out on the descents, chris right there, breathing-down my back, unless i was hallucinating, i think he offered me some water, top-notch bloke there. by the final climb, the leg felt fine and was able to hold chris off for 3rd, first podium of the yr (and in the open class). wicked. john looked like he'd been there all day, turns-out he was 30sec up with justin winning by 3 1/2 minutes.

hoping to hit-up moody park xc next wknd, then nothing until Nationals on July 20th at Mt Snow, VT. Fired-up for 7 laps on that course!

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At 6/25/2007 6:20 PM, Blogger Andy said...

hey good racing!

secret weapon was the smoked pork! I thought i was the only one to fill up the jersey pockets with BBQ!

At 6/26/2007 6:37 AM, Blogger wraith said...

nice job!

At 6/26/2007 9:43 AM, Blogger Thom P. said...

After these past couple rides dudes have got to be saying stuff like "Ya, so I was like four minutes behind Whittingham, so that's pretty good". Steppin' it up.


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