Nick Sdrenka USA Cycling Midwest Mountain Bike Championships/ WORS #6 race report: July 22-24, 2016

 Cross Country

Saturday July 23 was the biggest day for all mountain bikers in the midwest that decided to come on over to Wisconsin for a chance to be crowned the Midwest Champion of Cross Country, none to less there might have been a few people from other states outside of the midwest but it still was a big turnout. The course at Cascade Mountain in Portage, Wisconsin had a very exclusive course not being ridden a whole lot throughout the season it still kept good shape, the course was either uphill or downhill most of the time with lots of technical downhills including the Trek skills park area and lots of uphill switchbacks out in the open and in the woods which did make it arguably the perfect course to host the Midwest Championships. Throughout the day the sky looked very ominous with a 50/50 chance of a thunderstorn which raised everyones concerns not wanting to race in the rain and mud. Sure enough about 45 minutes before the pro/cat 1 race it poured and because of that the race got delayed 10 minutes for various reasons, but once us juniors got the GO we were off in a flash and already not even a few minutes into the race there were people slipping and sliding in the mud and little to say it happened to everyone else it eventually happened to me, with this said I did not have the best time on the bike as I usually do. Long into the race the same continued to happen but I leaned to control it better using certain techniques. For most of the race I found myself in first position in my age group but come close to the end of the race that I had little knowledge of because of all the confusion between what course we were riding and how many laps we had to do my mental state was not exactly where it should’ve been. Because of that mistake coming into my 2nd lap I slowed the pace down a little to conserve a little energy for the third lap that I had thought I had to do so a guy from Michigan came up from behind me and I had the thought that I would be able to catch him in the third lap but that was when I saw him cross the finish and then I finally figured out that I had to do only 2 laps and that put me in a bad place of regret. Later on after the race I finally got myself back into a good state of mind and looked at the highs of the race and said to myself, “my fitness was phenomenal in the mud and could’ve been alot worse, NEXT YEAR WILL DEFINETLY BE THE YEAR!!” All that really needed to change was my tire choice because of the conditions and my mental attitude. So I made a huge goal to try and achieve the mental attitude side of things for Sundays Enduro race to ensure I could enjoy the rest of my weekend.

Enduro

two events that followed up saturdays Cross Country was either Short Track or Enduro, with the format of short track it did not fit my type of racing so then I made the decision to race enduro as it covered my two favorite things uphills and technical downhills. Right off the start I got to the front with Nathan Guerra, Brian Matter, and Cory Samz and I felt really good riding beside my coach and other fast guys up a 1,276 ft hill. When we got to the top of the hill I got called off 4th to start as each person went down one by one as fast as they could, so once my run came it was a little nerve wrecking at first starting behind fast guys and  throughout my run their were one or two mistakes that i made but still kept it somewhat fast and starting behind nathan I would’ve never had guessed to see him on the course during my run because each person had a 30 second start in between each person so I was just about to enter the skills park and their I see Nathan walking his bike and it got me worried because I did not know whether he had a flat or something else wrong with his bike but sure enough looks were decieving and he had told me he broke his clavicle right as I zipped pass him and then I started to sympathized greatly for him but at the same time tried to think about having a good run. Coming out of the first downhill we started back uphill again but this time I took control of the climbing group until about three quarters of the way up I let Cory go first because I wanted to make sure a more experienced rider like himself would’nt have to deal with me wreaking or something if I were to start before him. When my second run approached I knew the course inside and out by that time and approached it with far more speed taking riskier lines to try and shave off seconds the best I could and eventually finished my run faster than I expected and finished 4th in the Pro/Open race behind Tristan Hauser and in front of Nate Knowles who both put up good runs making the race very tight. But overall I made the enduro race a success by keeping a good mindset from saturday and did good in my first Pro/Open race, making for a good weekend overall.

 Race pictures

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Enduro Pro/Open podium

Enduro Pro/Open podium

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