Sunday, May 06, 2007

Ft. Custer in the books

Photo from our team web site

Today was a day of a few firsts; the first xc race of the year, the first race in Michigan this year and my first race as Expert. I was not sure what to expect other than it would hurt, especially after racing in Tennessee the past two weekends. I haven't done much high intensity training so I planned on using this race more for training; I figured the pain would be over with a lot sooner than the previous weeks so at least I could look forward to that.

They created a new class in the Expert category for us old guys, 50+. Many racers were dropping out or moving back to Sport rather than race the old 40+ Expert class. It would be nice to have a few more move up as the Sport class was pretty big today and some of those guys could have raced with us instead.

When the gun went off our class seemed to move out pretty slow, certainly slower than the Sport class last year. It didn't take too long for the pace to pick up though and starting in 5th I slowly worked my way up to 3rd until we passed the first place guy who had gone out hard and then started to fade.

I stayed on the new 1st place guy's wheel pretty much for the first two laps when he started to open a gap and pull away. I could see him sometimes but my legs were starting to protest whenever the trail turned uphill. I guess the previous two weeks were starting to catch up to me.

I eventually lost sight of him about half way through the third and final lap so I put it in cruise mode just trying to make it to the finish and not give up 2nd place. I ended up holding on to 2nd , about a minute and a half back but almost cruised too much as third was only 24 seconds behind me. Overall I am happy with my first Expert race and think the results might have been different with a fresher set of legs. I can't say enough good things about the Cannondale F29 that I used today. The bike handled great and the larger wheels rolled over the log piles with no problems and tracked straight through all the sand.

Ft. Custer is probably one of the most fun trails to ride or race on in the lower part of Michigan. The weather was perfect and the race turnout was huge.

Next up is the 12 Hours of Addison Oaks on May 18. It will be nice to have a race only 20 minutes away.

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