Tonight was the 5th Boulder Racing STXC race and my 2nd. Fairly big pro field again and the conditions were way better than the first time. The heat and dust were way down. The light rains helped that.
Colin B did a fantastic job with this course tonight. Tight and twisty...very BMX-y. Fast where it needed to be but did not favor roadies by any means (more on that later). Tons of 180 degree turns to power out of and lots of places where you needed some serious MTB expertise to know exactly what gear to be in....especially this "V" apex that has you going big ring/12 down and a radical swing up. Gear selection was huge.
Warming up the body felt decent, the mind was into it, the vibe was great and tons of my friends were there. Golden. Then, I saw some dude in the Cat 3's wash out and face plant so violently (his head schwacked the ground and bounced) that I felt my sphincter pucker.
The pro men line up and we proceed to wait. I started on a HUGE front row line with like 20 dudes. Then about 3 rows behind me. Big field. My start was decent like top 10 and I am still trying to control myself and not blow my wad trying to take out holeshots (at least not yet until I can handle the repercussions of that exertion) and practice settling in. The usual suspects were there, Colby Pearce, Mike West, The WB looked good and the gaggle of Trek factory guys in their fairly bling white Nikes. Very PRO.
Then, the crashes started.
In lap 2 of 6, like 3 roadies wash out. I pick my way around them, literally bunny hopped one. This kid whom I've seen training on the road from San Jose. San Jose kid is strong and bridges back to me and drops me. Lap 3 or 4 my bro Troy takes a digger (Tuba I hope you are OK man! I looked for you after thee race! My heart was in my throat when you crashed else I would've shouted at you. Looked nasty). I dodge that and continue on. Bell lap. San Jose kid who crashed in front of me YET AGAIN goes down this time bad. Not moving. Face in the dirt. I stop, Colin B stops tons of spectators come in. He moves a bit so we're off. Honestly, my legs are turning again but my head was so out of the game. I hear the bell in the back and it wakes me up. I swear to you it was like that scene in Saving Private Ryan...that beach scene when Tom Hanks gets shell shocked then comes to when some kid is yelling at him. Kind of like that. The bell was the kid yelling at me.
I finished strong-ish and can't complain. The WB continues to be better than rock solid. Amazing. I thought he pulled out the W tonight but I think he podiumed. So strong. SO MANY ROCKY MOUNT'ERS out there cheering tonight. Rad. THANK YOU! Boups and Longman in particular. So rad to hear you. The spit coming out of my mouth was preventing me from saying thank you while racing.
Longman was snapping the photos tonight as was Joe Strandell of Peloton Photo. He'll have those posted tune so keep an eye out.