Too bad the day had to end that way because the race went quite well. This is a pretty good course for me and SS in general and I wanted to put in a pretty big effort to see how I could do within such a large field. Wouldn't surprise me if they hit their 400 rider cap, most categories had 20+ racers with 30 in SS.
Team Green sticks together
Things got started on a short stretch of doubletrack and it was full bore wire to wire. A group of about 5-10 got off the front pretty early made up of the names/faces I see at the start and resign myself to never seeing again until the finish. In my head and on paper I thought I should be towards the front of the next group if I could put everything together. I was there or there abouts towards the end of the initial section of doubletrack. I was red lining pretty well at that point and was hoping for a chance at recovery. That was hard to come by on this course however. Just before diving into the singletrack I was passed by a rider that was a bit stronger on doubletrack than fast twisty singletrack. I got a bit of recovery holding his wheel and he probably got sick of hearing me lurking on his wheel and let me by, which was nice because I probably would have had to try a really sketchy pass if he hadn't.
eye of le'tigre
(all photos courtesy of @ToroLocoCycling)
Shortly after I caught another rider who I have traded wins/losses with over the years. Got past him and got to enjoying myself. Such a fun course. High speeds, corners you can really lay into and just enough technical features to keep you on your toes. I could have done without the sections of doubletrack mid lap and the water crossings that cooled me right off and made my shoes feel like they weighed 10lbs each but it did help keep the traffic on the singletrack down I think. Unfortunately putting out power on doubletrack is not my forte. My friend who I trade places with caught me shortly after the doubletrack sections. Luckily I was able to get away again in the singletrack and stay away.
Not sure how I'm so spotless in this pic, this bridge was basically at the end of the lap
I had no idea where I was in the grand scheme of things but I was feeling decent and no SSers had passed me yet. Those laps felt much longer than 8-9mi and it was hard to find places to eat. I tried to keep the pressure on during the second lap but things were starting to get a bit loose. Reaction time and control was getting sloppy but luckily I never laid it down. Came close several times though. I spent most of the second lap by myself periodically getting caught by experts coming through. I held wheels as long as I could. Legs still felt ok well into the second lap. Cramps were on the horizon but as long as I didn't push things too far in the wrong spot I was able to hold them off.
Finished in a little over 1h45m for 13th of 30. Thought it was 12th but must have read the results wrong. I'm still really pleased with the result. The names in front of me are all very fast individuals. No points but further indication that I'm getting faster. Now for a bit of time off racing to get my gut and hopefully wrists recovered.