Posted: Tue Jul. 19, 2011 9:38 am
This was my first race of the year, and first NECS points race as Expert, so my goal was to finish and hopefully not be dead last. I have not been able to train a whole lot this year, so I was a little nervous about how my legs would react. I started out pretty easy just settling in behind a line of riders which is always a bad idea at Webbs, I should have known better. Coming into the first turn with all the ruts, 2 guys ahead of me went down and I basically rode over the top of them. What fun. Not sure how they crashed, there was nothing in front of them except bumpy dirt. Oh well. After a little bit I could see Clint Dowd up ahead of me, my goal was to catch up to him and stay on his wheel. I continued to work my way through the line of Expert riders ahead of me and made it up to Clint by the end of the first lap. I used him as my pacer for most of the second lap, but decided that I wanted to go a little harder. Clint bobbled a little on some roots, I went around him and started to push harder. About half way through my 3rd lap I could feel the cramps starting to kick in a bit. Every couple minutes I could feel the little shocks going through my quads. I ate a few of the gummy things, drank some more water and made it through my 3rd lap. I stopped at my watering area, drank some red bull, refilled 1 water bottle and ate a few more of the gummy things. One lap to go and I still can't see Clint. About 1/4 way into the final lap the cramps kicked in completely. My quads took turns letting me straighten them, but I was not able to straighten both simultaneously, so I was never able to get a strong pedal stroke, which killed me on the few climbs. Coming into the final stretches of the course I could see Clint gaining again. I continued to push through the cramps, finally out of the woods, around the last corner and through the finish. OUCH!! that hurt. Clint finished 20 seconds behind, we shook hands and congratulated each other on finishing a fun race. I finished 3rd in my age group and about 16/38 overall, so I was very happy with the results.
Course was wicked fast and fun. Thanks for all the hard work Mark.
"If you brake, you don't win." Racer Mario Cipollini