I have never done a stage race before and the concept sounded cool. 3 races in 2 days. Race #1 was a time trial on the Torn Shirt trail at Brighton State Rec. Area, race 2 was a short track race, and the third race was a XC race on the Murray Lake loop. The short track race was what I was really looking forward to. It has been way too long since the last cross race, and I have forgotten how much pain is involved!
Torn Shirt is a tough trail. It is only about 5.5 miles, but it has a lot of short, steep climbs, blind turns, roots and log piles. I pre-rode the trail about a month ago, so it wasnt totally new to me, but I really couldnt remember most of it. Nothing too exciting in my race, I started out feeling pretty good, but I held back quite a bit. Not knowing what was around the next turn, which there were a lot of, kept my speed down. I did the race in about 39 minutes, nothing spectacular there that is for sure. It put me in 5th place for the race.
The next race was a short track race, aka cyclocross without the barriers. The race was only 4 laps, and took about 13 minutes. For this race I tried to use some of my cross tactics, get a good start, and push through the pain. I got a decent start, until the first turn where I got clogged up with the single speeders that started ahead of us. The race hurt, I am not in cross shape yet. My first and last lap were my fastet, but I still finished last, well 3rd.
Sunday was the XC race on the Murray Lake loop. This is a fast flowing trail, nothing too technical a few decent climbs. They just cut in some re-routes, that were pretty soft and added to the pain.
Right from the start I had nothing in the legs. The pack started and left me right off the line. I rode with one of the Paint Creek riders through most of the race, but he dropped me on the last lap. My lap times were consistent, but I just didnt have it from the day before. I just finished out the race and ended up with a fifth place.
Overall for the weekend I took home 3rd place. It is sort of a hollow accomplishment in a way. I finished last or almost last in each of the 3 races, but through attrition I was able to pick up 3rd. At least it is a lot of points for the team, and that is really all I am going for this season.
I am not really sure where to go from here. I ride a lot and have been getting in a lot of miles, but the results just arent there.