Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The final 2009 race reports part 1: Taneytown

Okay, okay, I'm finally getting around to some race reports from the MABRA championships and MAC championship races.

Taneytown - November 29th - MABRA championships.  After seeing that the woman who'd been crushing us all routinely was still registered as  Cat 4, despite several people suggesting that was inappropriate after three Cat 4 wins in grand fashion, I resigned myself to just go have fun and let the wheels roll.  A pre-ride on Saturday (nominally I stopped by to help out, but the FUJI team was locked and loaded by 3pm) told me that the course was wetter than it looked but pretty much the same as last year.  Fast and flat with a few pretty awesome off camber turns, a fast set of barriers, and a rough paved start/finish stretch that barely sloped.  I had a decent start and was second in to the first mud pit/running section.  The previous races had torn the course up - gooey, slippery mud made the corners tricky and some sections unrideable.  I felt strong, leading for about 1/2 of the first lap before Allyson went by.  A few of us worked to hang onto her, but I faded and was passed by a couple people toward the end of the lap.

Eventually, I was riding just ahead of Doron again.  Doron who I could not hang onto at Schooley Mill.  Doron who comes to practices and is generally really good fun to ride against.  She attacked on a gravel section, I responded and took the line going back onto the grass.  Almost overcooked it, but managed to gap her by a few seconds for the effort.  Eventually we came upon Tracy, who was having a good race with the elites, promoter legs and all.  Doron, Tracy and I traded back and forth for a bit - I finally got past them for good after a really fun moment riding three abreast uphill through the soul-sucking mud by the pits, with everyone yelling for one or more of us.  Doron took the low line onto the off camber - I took the outside line - she crashed.  I clipped out but got moving again soon after.

At the end of the day, I finished 6th.  I wasn't thrilled with that, but I had a decent race and only made a few mistakes (including riding my bike all the way until it was stuck up to the bottom bracket in mud before dismounting once!) - I had so much fun, though - I even sprinted the finish. 

There were at least 5 or 6 different spots on course that I felt at home on the bike, strong and happy.  To top it off, prizes went to 6 and I scored an awesome Sheila Moon shirt along with some other goodies for the effort.

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