The race day began with a pre-ride beginning at about 7:45 a.m. I pre-rode the course on Sunday morning at an easy pace since it had been closed on Saturday because of the weather. When I arrived back at our camper, I ate a breakfast of oatmeal and cleaned my bike. The Junior race began at 9:30, so I rode over to watch it start. I then returned to the camper to eat and finish getting my bike in racing condition. From there, I had a perfect view of the course and watched both the Junior and Citizen race.
At the start of the Sport race, I went over to the bowl to see how the new course design worked when a large group went through it. After that, I returned to our camper and got ready for the race. At 12:40, I went out to begin my warm up which lasted until 1:15. Then I spun over to the start line to line up for the race. I arrived just in time. At this race, I began in about the 4th row since Cat 1 Juniors do not get a call up. The race started at 1:30. My start was not the best since my foot did not clip in on the first try which almost made me crash. I recovered quickly and made up the second I lost on the hills soon after. I was able to pass a few people while climbing out of the bowl.
The race was going well until I crashed. There was a downhill corner with loose dirt which was about 2 miles out. My front tire lost traction, and I slid out. We were still in a close group, so I got passed by a few people there. Soon we had another section of double track, so I made up the time I had lost in the crash. There were some muddy spots which followed. I was able to make it through all of them on the first lap.
As I completed the first lap, I was in first place for all Cat 1 Junior racers. My Dad told me I had about 13 seconds over the next Cat 1 Junior. I continued to go at a fast pace in which my heart rate was about 183 in the double track and a bit lower in the single track. The second lap went smoothly with no crashes. I continued to do my best to hold with the riders I was around. The course was quite slippery in some spots now since so many riders had gone through. It was still quite wet from the rain on Saturday. I continued to lengthen the gap between me and second place.
At the completion of the second lap, I was both half way done and had a 45 second lead on those in my category. On the 3rd lap, I had no crashes or times I had to dismount. By this time, I could begin to feel that my legs were beginning to tire out. I kept up a moderately fast pace which I could keep up for the remainder of the race. Near the end of the lap, I began to pass some of the Comp women.
As I began the final lap, I chose to sit down while climbing to the top of the hill instead of standing up and pushing hard. I took my 3rd hand off from my Grandpa while I climbed out of the bowl. I passed a handful of riders during this lap. On one of the climbs, I chose to jump off of my bike and run up since it was very muddy and running uses slightly different muscles than biking. I continued to keep a moderately fast pace until the last mile where I went pretty hard. When I came out to the finish, I picked up the pace to a near all out sprint for the remaining 100 or so yards. Upon finishing, I mixed up a recovery drink and rode around for a while. Overall, it went well and Coach Nathan’s training has been working great.