Rothrock Trail Mix (June 14th)
Result: 2nd open expert women
Fat Tire Challenge (June 21st)
Result: 1st open women (4th overall)
USA Mountain Bike nationals:
CAT 1 Women 25-29
The second half of June I spent priming for mountain bike nationals. I raced locally at the Rothrock Trail mix, always a killer technical race, to sharpen to rock riding before nationals. Four hours and a lot of sweat later, attempting to navigate wet rocks with worn out tires, I ended the day in 2nd. I never like to lose a local race like that but the woman who beat me is a great rider (finished 2nd to me at Transylvania) so not too much to complain about- except my procrastination to get new tires! Next I went west and raced the Fat tire Challenge. This is a much smaller race with most riders opting for the short course. I race the open long course, finishing 1st for the women and 4th overall for all long course riders. The trails in western PA are amazing, though I always advocate for more arrows on course for those races- I only got lost twice, that’s improvement from years past ;-)
Finally it was mountain bike national’s time. I was antsy with anticipation as I tapered down for this race. I felt fresh, excited and well prepared! I made the drive out Friday and pre-rode the course. HOLY SMOKES it was technical, I made sure to re-ride all the touch parts and I reminded myself that it was just super rocky like home, what I’m used to! Late Friday night I got an email from USA cycling notifying me that all womens CAT 1 races would be cut to 2 laps (12 miles) instead of the 3 laps we should have done. They claimed this was for “time concerns” though all the CAT 1 men got to do their full race….where were the women at USA cycling advocating for equality!!!??? Anyway…. Race day arrived and I was ready to roll! My first lap was just O.K. nothing great. I couldn’t get going and my legs felt bogged down. By lap 2 I was flying, standing and grunting up the climbs and tearing up the downhills like I never have before! I moved from 4th to 2nd all in lap number 2 and had to settle with second for the day. It was tough coming to terms with crossing the finish line and not feeling like I had really given it everything (I just wasn’t tired yet- I wasn’t prepared for a race that was so short). There is no room for a slow/ not perfect start when you have such a short time to prove yourself. At the end of the day, the woman who beat me was an AMAZING technical rider (she passed me by launching off some built up logs). I congratulated her after the race and she said she was happy to not have done a third lap because she knew I was flying on the climbs. It would have been an exciting third lap- maybe next year!