Race Name: Fair Hill Classic
Race Type: MTB XC
Location: Elkton, MD
Riders: Nicole LaGorga
From the perspective of Nicole LaGorga...
I raced my first MTB race yesterday down in Elkton, MD. After not having been on my MTB in months, and having trouble during the preview in finding my way through a rooty and what I thought to be rocky (cause I was on the wrong trails) course, I decided to register in the Women’s open novice category. My main goals were 1. Not crash 2. Not get lost 3. Not come in last. I realize that non of these were “positive thinking” goals, but it was a little unnerving to register for a MTB race when you’ve never even done a MTB group ride before and had no idea how your skills stacked up. My strategy was to go all out from the gun in hopes of dropping the rest of the field before I hit the woods without blowing up, in order to have a time advantage because I knew there were climbs and I wasn’t sure my technical skills stacked up, so I figured that was my only chance was to have a lead that allowed me to not be chasing and passing the entire time. My strategy “sort of” worked. I was able to stay out front and break the field in two during the long stretch up to the woods. I spent most of the race chasing and passing the same three women. I was fighting for third place for half of the race, but when the course opened up and stopped TILTING up, I was able to move into third. I felt I had a solid chance at second, but I just couldn’t get up that last hill without getting passed for the last time. I came in 3rd. missing 2nd place by 13 seconds, and I lost first place by not being aggressive enough to pass as the course got tighter earlier on. I learned a lot of things yesterday- the most important of which is that I like racing in the woods and will definitely be doing it again.