the combo of all those didn't help my cause out at all.
it rained all day on Saturday so i decided not to pre ride and stay clean. i still had planned to ride the trainer for a bit but opted out of that too. we went to watch the Athens twilight crit sat night and it was awesome. those dudes are so fast. anyway because it was packed out there was no quality food to be had...i ended up with a gyro and fries...not the dinner I'm used to before a race.
Sunday brought dry an sunny skies but the trails were messed up pretty good. still very ridable but nasty. and because there was no pre reg on sat, all the racers had to pre reg Sunday before the race...made for a long line and a delayed and shortened warm up. i also had to set my bottle feeders up...and made a mistake but wouldn't find out until later...at the start line i noticed our field was stacked with quality riders. i knew it was going to be a battle.
the gun went off and away we went...fast and steady...i entered the woods 4th behind Sibly, Johnston, and Alison(ba from FL)...dudes fell off me pretty quickly and soon it was just us 4 rolling together. after about half a lap were joined by Shey and he was rolling fast. about that time Sibly attacked all of us and would set a blistering pace for the rest of the first lap. we all 5 came through the finish of lap 1 together...as we entered the feed zone, i realized my mistake...my bottles were too far off the path and i had to veer way off to get my feed...and ended up crashing..in the feed zone. not only did it hurt but it was super embarrassing...wreck right in front of everyone...argh! i also lost contact with the group and had to fight hard to bridge back up...maybe too hard...and right as i got to them, i went down again...by the time i got up and back moving forward they were gone and i would never see them again.
i pushed hard but could tell the power was fading. i had only brought one gel and that had been gone since the first lap. i was now in conserve mode but stay steady. i came through the 2nd lap knowing that this last lap would be all about survival! i again had to swerve off course to get my feed and again almost wrecked again...but stayed upright. the last last lap seemed to take forever...i though i had last 10 min on the last lap but only dropped 5min off my first lap's pace, which isn't great but not too bad for as bad as i was feeling. you know you're not having fun when things are in slow motion...the races i feel great on, they fly by...this lap...drug on...and on...and on! Plus my back was killing me...not sure why...it really hasn't bothered me all season and it was in full effect Sunday. i still managed to hold on to 5th place and would still make the podium but not by much.
BTW...dude on the #2 box isnt the dude who raced us...this is the stand in...Allison is super fit and fast!
after looking at the lap times...the 3 guys behind me all had faster lap times on the 3rd lap than me...thank goodness i held on!
this week is recover and get ready for Huntsville, AL.