This race has been approaching in my mind, and one I really wanted to do well at. My Journeymen Racing team has been planning to hit this race in force, and we did just that.
I missed the TT on day one, but the team hit it and podium'ed in pretty much every class. It was a hot day for all involved, especially my friends in the lower classes. Because of the volume of riders, the start times kept getting pushed back later and later, and so everyone just sat there in the heat.
Sunday arrived, and I was ready to rock. Someone forgot to turn off the heat though. The result was the hottest weekend in Memphis in a very long time.
Part of the reason I'd been thinking so much about this race was my result last year of DFL!!!!!! I did not want to do that again. The other reason was that the race would be my 2nd ride on a mountain bike since my road wreck back in May. However, I felt pretty good, so I was hopeful.
My cat was down on numbers because several of the guys had moved to cat2. Out of that group, Brad broke a chain, Bill ate it hard in a corner and retired, and Billy kicked but and finished on the podium. Unfortunately, in the process, Billy broke a custom titanium 29'er frame at the bottom bracket!!!!
The race started and I hit the woods in 2nd place. 1st place rapidly dissappeared off the front and down the trail. By 1 mile in, I could not even see him further up the course - time to cat up bro!! 3rd place was on my wheel hard by 2 miles in, and I decided to give him the trail. I kept on, thinking I was still on the podium, but down a place.... It felt bad. Then, at mile 4, I saw 2nd place standing in the middle of the trail fussing with his bike.
I stopped and asked what was up (makin sure he was not hurt) and found his seat falling off the post. I offered him my mini-tool and watched him start to fix his bike, then all of a sudden it hit me- I did not have to stay there. So I said "Ya know what, I'm gonna ride on to the finish. C ya there!" I took off. That gave me a significant boost.
At mile 6, Ken caught me. He was in the age group above me, so I really did not want him to beat me!!!! I rode his wheel for a while until the fire road. When we hit the fire road, he stopped at the water station and I flew by. Within 10 mins, I had pulled almost a mile on him. I was burning up the trail and going as hard as possible.
At the finish, I pulled out a wild sprint and came across the line with dust flying everywhere... Of course, no one was around me...... LOL. It was fun though.
I came home with my first podium in a race in over 12 years. I even have a medal to show for my efforts.........