race day started early for me but i enjoy these mornings. LARGE cup of coffee, loud 90's grunge, sunroof open, and zero traffic to deal with. the temps were perfect and i no trouble on the drive.
once at the venue there were lots of familiar faces. mostly birmingham folks these days. i used to race with a totally different group of guys, but it's cool. after i got suckered in to buying a shirt and dropping $55 to enter and get a shirt that doesn't really fit, i was kit'd up and ready to start the warm up. rode with chad for a few minutes on the trails and then headed out on the roads to finish the warm up.
the race was fun...i entered the woods 4th behind Scott, Chad, and Omar and was feeling fine. the pace was high and i was just glad to following a wheel because i didnt pre ride. I would soon get around Scott and was bridging up to the leaders when i smacked my handle bar on a tree..it didnt know me off but it jacked my bars up. i thought for a second i could ride with them but i knew after 10-20seconds that wasnt happening. as i pulled over to straighten them Jerry passed me. i was back on my bike pretty fast and bridged up to jerry. i was content to sit behind him and follow his wheel through the first lap. he held a solid pace and i doubt i would have been any faster solo. i took the lead heading into the woods on lap two and he stayed right with me...then all of a sudden he wasn't. i slowed for a min and looked back and tried to get a glimpse of him but saw nothing. i would really settle into a steady rhythm for the rest of lap two. as i exited the lap and headed over to my bottle there was all sorts of freaking chaos...first a finished racer was heading backwards through the start/finish area and coming right at me, next there were all sorts of people sitting around my bottles...and as i rolled up, dogging the racer, this lady grabs my bottle and jumps away from where im trying to come to...i had to yell...hey, that's my bottle!...she then handed it to me...after a stressful transition into lap 3 i was starting to feel a little tired. i popped a gel and heading into the woods. not 5min into the lap my so hard fought for bottle EJECTED out...again! not much more happened after that...i finished the lap very parched and was glad to be done. the legs were tired and the lower back was a tad tender too!i rode out on the road for a nice 15min cool down and then called it.
finished 3rd overall/2nd in age group. small race but the top 2 guys are strong so i feel ok about things. after 2 solid weeks of workouts i think things are really heading in the right direction.