Posted on 10:24 AM by Schottler
Well, I was planning on doing the Sac River 6 hour solo race until about 4:30am on Saturday. I packed up everything and woke up early to eat and fill up my bottles, then went back to bed. My hamstrings were still very sore from the previous 100 mile race at Shenandoah. I always forget how long 6 hours really is, it is a long ass time to push yourself. I realized how crippled I would be by the end of the race and how far it would set me back from actually training this week, and it wasn't worth it for a local race. Instead, I was reminded by teammate Butthead there was the first cx race of the year in Illinois.
So, I frantically put my race bike together and glued on some new Challenge Fengo tires. My first ride on the bike was in Illinois preriding the course, along with adjusting my seat position to where I have set it for the year, about an inch higher. Perfect time to tune bike fit and adjust the components.
This was my first time doing the Picx series, they did a great job. The course was a lot of fun with good elevation change, high speed corners, and a giant barrier I ran in to each lap. (Thanks Eville Mike for the pictures!)
The race started with me casually getting in the front, followed by Strothman flying by me off the road and nearly overshooting the first couple corners. I felt like taking off already, but I waited for Butthead to make his way to the front. Once he did, he attacked. Strothman followed and I hopped on his wheel. After about a minute I passed Jay on a descent and linked up with Butthead, then we got a gap. Devin Clark bridged back up to us and then I went to the front and accelerated up the climb. I got a gap pretty quickly and stayed on the gas. Butthead stayed on Devins wheel and eventually attacked once I was up the road far enough. I ended up taking the win with Butthead coming in second. Good race and good tactics, happy to see everyone out there so early in the season!
I had a flawless race, no errors, and took every corner with confidence. I don't know where the confidence came from, I haven't done a cross race since November. I guess it comes back fast. I was worried about not having any snap or leg speed from doing such long mountain races recently. I was way surprised. I noticed how quickly I could recover from a big effort, it's nuts. I could hammer, rest a few seconds, and do it again, all day long. The best part is I am not crippled, which means I get to ride all week!