I think this is my favorite course of any circuit that I've raced so far....long hard climbing rewarded with fast and technical decsents....real mountain biking. From the gun, X-terra racers Melanie McQuaid (BMC) and Danelle Kabush (Luna) shot out and took the lead and I grabbed their wheels and hung on. I felt comfortable climbing around the first switchback, so I accelerated and took the lead. I pressed the pace as hard as I could without blowing up to the top of "the oven"....the top of this climb is appropriately named because it gets really hot up that steep exposed climb. As I crested the climb after about 10 mins of hammering, I looked over my shoulder and saw that I had gapped Melanie, but not by much.
Dropping into the singletrack I felt really comfortable, these descents are my favorite style of riding. Today however, I couldn't seem to find my groove and I felt like I was fighting my bike over every root and drop. Melanie quickly closed the gap and I could hear her right behind me. The whole first lap seemed to run like this...I'd pull away on the flats and climbing, only to be reeled back in on the technical downhills...arrgggg..that's not like me.
From the bottom of the infamous Georgetown climb, I've heard that it's about 400m of climbing up through the start/finish, through the feed zone and all the way back to the top of the oven...yup, it's painful. Coming through for the second lap I had put just under 30 seconds into Melanie..I could still see her every time I ventured a peak over my shoulder. Jeanann McKirdy (Rocky Mountain) was stilling in 3rd about a minute back, I could see her coming through the start/finish as I was heading into the second switchback on the climb.
The second lap went a lot smoother, my groove, although not entirely groovy, was coming out slowly. As with the third and last lap. I was able to pull out a strong finish and win for the second year in a row on the Ziggy Gnarly Canada Cup course. Melanie finished second at 2 mins and Jeanann finished third at just under 3 mins.
Thanks to the Rundle Mountain Cycling Club for hosting the awesome race!!