Today was the first 2008 NMBS series cross country mountain bike race in Fontana, California. It's almost the same course as I race two years ago, just shortened a little, but the same fun flowy sections, the same rough breaking bumps, the same half foot deep powder, and the same ghetto..yippee. It's actually a pretty cool course, especially for LA. I was called up 15th, in the second row, and I rolled up directly behind Sonny and Georgia from the Luna team, knowing they'd be fast off the line. I had a great start, managed to avoid most of the bottleneck in the first corner only 50 m from the start, and fell into a comfortable pace in about 10th place. About 5 minutes into the lap, the course hits an open road climb, and feelling good, I pushed the pace up to about 6th place...wow, that's a first for me. It was really neat, the entire race I was with and could see the same 6 girls in front and behind me, that doesn't usually happen in a Canada Cup race. The depth of these events are just incredible. For the first two laps, I held my spot, back and forth with various racers....Kelli Emmit passes on the climb, I pass Willow Koerber on a soft corner. Part way through the third lap Emily Batty is breathing down my neck. I fend off the first attack, but she pulls by on the second attack. For the next half lap, she pulls ahead, then I slingshot back and close the gap, she gets chain suck and I drop my chain. In the fourth and last lap, I sitting about 5 seconds behind Emily and I railing around a sandy corner that they've layed boards down to ride on, and my race just about ends.
Miss judging speed and accuracy...or completely missing the board, I loose my front tire in between two of the boards and my whole weight starts to shift. Then I see this five foot wall of dirt coming at me as I clip the side of the trial and feel the stem hit me square in the groin....ummmp. There I am, laying in elbow deep sand thinking what the heck just happened, and oh my goodness does that ever hurt. I must honestly say that I contemplated not getting up for a couple minutes, but then I see Heather Irmiger catching up fast, so I grab my bike and try to pull myself back together....but man does my groin ever hurt. She passes me easily on the next climb and I try to hold her wheel, but it's not happening. And a quick glance over my shoulder confirms that Lea Davidson from my Trek team is closing in on me fast, so I suck it up, put my head down and hammer. Less than 1 km to go, she catches me and I hop on her wheel for as long as I can, but she slowly pulls away. In the end, I finish in 9th place...yippee, honestly I'm pretty happy with my first race of the season.
Between Katerina Nash in second place, and myself in ninth, there is less than four minutes...moreover, between Wendy Simms in third and myself in ninth, there is just over 3 and 1/2 minutes.....in other words, it was a tight race till the end (except for Georgia off the front). Oh yeah, not to mention, 4 of the top 10 women are Canadian......we're taking over the world..heheh.
3rd Wendy Simms
4th Catherine Pendrel
5th Emily Batty
14th Amanda Sin
16th Catherine Vipond (wicked)
I have yet to find any pic's of the race, but if worse comes to worse, I'll send a little pic of my nice bruise :o
Tomorrow, short track race number one..wish me luck.