I think this was the nicest weather that I've ever seen in Port Alberrni!! Everyone says it gets killer hot in the summer, but every time I've raced there, it's been gnarly wet and muddy. This little mid island (literally right smack in the middle) town and it's ASS (Alberni Single Speeders) association puts on a really cool race. Hosted at the historical sight McLean Mill, the course winds in and around the cool old Mill equipment and contains a mountain bikers amount of tight singletrack. The Cross on the Rocks series has the best courses around!!! And Roland and Katie are the most amazing results posters.......they had everything up last night!!!! (only hours after the race)
Super Norm convinced me to race in the Men's race as training for the upcoming Fort Collins USGP races, so I lined with with 23 men on the starting straight. I gave Regan the "You're Going Down" throat cut, then a kiss...lol. I haven't decided who is more agressive when racing, men or women. I think I was rubbed out more in this race then ever, but it's great training learning how to race with my elbows out :) I had my typical great start, found myself in the first set of singletrack in a pretty good position, and battled for the first couple laps with some fast dudes. Still feeling a little fatigue from the previous weekend I didn't have the pop to pass on the straight aways, and found myself clogged up through the singletrack, but it was actually the best that I've felt all week.
My new ZedWheels where awesome, so stiff and light weight making the already stiff Trek Cronus even stiffer and lighter (16.1 pounds), and my new Challenge Fango Tubulars were awesome...but I do think this mud tire was a little overkill for the conditions..haha...but if it was like last year (mud, mud, mud) they would have been perfect!!! Half way through the 5th or 6th lap I was sitting in top 10 and feeling good.... then there was a wonky pass, a rock shot up into me, and my front tire went flat...SOB, SOB, SOB....not the brand new tubular!!! There was some foul language coming from me, before I realized I was still racing, so I jumped off my bike and ran to the tech pit. Thank you to the guy that helped me change my front wheel, and I was up and running just in time to jump back in and chase after Russ Anderson who was also plagued with flats. I don't think I've ever seen as many flats in a race as I have on this course, every time I passed the pits there was someone different there. It probably was not my smartest idea to run my brand new wheels/tires on this course, but I was so excited to try them out. I have been informed though that they can be fixed (it was a very small puncture) so all is not lost...yippppppppeeeeee!!!
Getting back into the race, I battled back for the remaining 5 or so laps....ya, there was an absurd number of laps!! And finished in 11th (sprint finish for 10th but I couldn't quite do it!!) and only under 4 mins down. Pretty excited that I'm starting to come around and feel recovered from the Xterra adventure, hope the pop comes back into my legs this week.
I want to send out a huge congrats to Regan, 6th place in the fast dude category!!! And the rest of the Pro City Racers who raced awesome...half of which were also plagued with flat tires.....it's so cool lining up with 4 other fruit loop kits :)