Little hiccup in the week... something a lot more important then updating the rest of the week came up....:( So I'll recap the rest of the TR week quickly.
Day 3 - Elkford to Etherington Camp - Day of the BLUE jersey take over...hehe
Hot out of the gate, Jeff and I were able to jump onto the lead group and hang in with them for most of the first 40 km road section. The gravel road was in rough shape!!! lots of deep muddy ruts and puddles, Jeff and I made a decision early in the day to stay as close as possible to the front to avoid as much damage as possible from the mud. The farther back you are in the group, the less likely you are to see the hazards and the more likely you are to get sucked into a bad situation. After the first 40 km, there was a hard 10ish km ride/hike a bike followed by an uber gnarly downhill with unfortunate some running downhill with bike.
Day 4 - Etherington to Anchor D Ranch - Day of the Jeff and Mical hole shot!!!
Yup, you read that right....thanks poppa for doing a little recon work the night before.....the 2 km road run into the first single track was definitely less then 1 km. Barry Wicks laughed while saying "Haha, you guys are leading us out today".......I grinned over my shoulder "Hehe...yup!" This put us into a great position coming out onto the road 7 km later and we continued to push the pace up and over Grass Pass (absolutely beautiful). This day had some great riding/climbing and amazing views. Unfortunately the last 20 km ended up taking as long as the first 40 km due to the knee deep mud/cow poop we had to run through. YUCKK!!!!
Day 5 - Anchor A Ranch to Little Elbow Campground - Day of a little more cow poop
700ft of climbing right off the start....we were staring at the first climb of the day all night...nice little clayey climb that everyone can watch. Actually probably the best show of the week would have been watching all the motor homes and support vehicles trying to get out of the muddy mess of a campground..hehe.
Jeff and I had a great start once again (yes, my starts are something that I am very proud of :) and put ourselves in a really good position for the first 20 km of singletrack....with unfortunately some more cow poop running (Anchor D Ranch is a cattle ranch so it's kinda expected). After the road apple fun, the rest of the day was a lot of fun, with some typical Kananaskis fast downhills. We were very fortunate to finish early this day, as the hail and rain that came shortly after we finished was horrendous......... and it continued through the night for a cold 6th day.
Day 6 - Little Elbow to Rafter 6 Ranch - Ridiculous day of hypothermia
This was the day that I was by far the most excited for, some amazing riding in this area and these are some of the best trails!!!! Unfortunately when we left camp it was 7 degrees and raining.....which means it's guaranteed to be just above freezing on the the top of Jumpingpound and Cox.....and let me tell you, spandex definitely doesn't give you enough protection!!
Awesome start, haha....I found myself at the front of a group of about 7 men on the road...oh well, giver!!!!
This was a hard day physically and mentally. Once we started climbing Jumpingpound everything started freezing....hands, feet, nose.....stopped to put on more clothes and dry gloves...so nice and warm...for about 5 mins before they were wet through and frozen again :( I will admit, I actually had a little bit of a break down pushing my bike up Cox Hill (I was really surprised that they actually were sending us up there in those conditions - but we later found out that they started sending groups on a short cut to avoid killing anyone). Wore through and completely lost use of my rear brake.....Cox hill decent is not fun with only a front brake and frozen rigid.
Wendy and Norm had a great day today and took the stage win and moving into 2nd place overall!!! And yes, I got mom'd going up Jumpingpound...Wendy continues to amaze me.
Day 7 - Rafter 6 to Canmore - Final day
Sun .... what is that???? Some super fun trails today that I've actually never ridden before. Oh ya....and a swim in the swamp for me...hehe.....those wooden bridges are a little slick......"Help me Jeff!!!!". It was a little bit of a rough day for me, day 6 really kicked my butt....and I didn't have a front brake (which unfortunately makes up over 75% of braking power) so I had a little troubles controlling myself on all singletrack.....and ended up crashing down the very last descent of the race, the Powerhouse Plunge....of course in front of a bunch of people. Oh well...hehe.
Finished the race with 4 stage wins, 5 baby blue leaders jerseys and defending our Open Mixed category.......race entry for 2011...hehe. Thanks Jeff for the great week of hard riding. Thanks mom and dad for all the support during the week....definitely couldn't have done it without you two crazy people...hehe.
The Top Fuel worked awesome all week, definitely a great choice for this kind of race. And my tire change to the Bontrager XR was a wise choice as well!!! Fast rolling, good cornering and half decent in mud (nothing is really good in knee deep cow poop!!!)
One week to NY World Cup.....so glad I get to share this experience with Regan....his first World Cup experience.