I can't believe I'm home!!! I can't believe I'm really done work!!! Going for over 5 weeks almost straight, minus 2 short days at home, really wasn't cool. Not really stoked on being away from home for that long at all, and man, waaaay too much trainer time. Back to being a full time cyclist again, and what an awesome first couple days at home!! I mean, 15 degrees yesterday...yippee, perfect weekend for some mountain biking!!
Whirl wind unpack..or more like work clothes puked all over the condo, and repack of cycling gear for the weekend and road trip up to Campbell River for Island Cup #3. I've never been to Campbell River much less ridden there....wow, really beautiful place and amazing riding! Great way to get back on the bike. After being only on the trainer for over a month, I really wasn't sure how everything would feel, but it's just like riding a bike...I know, bad joke. I knew I would have the flat trainer grade dialed for sure, I would kill a trainer race right now. But throw a hill in there, and I'm a hurtin unit for sure. Fast flowy buff singletrack for about 95% of the course is definitely what make Island Cup racing....and good thing for me, there was less then 170m of climbing a lap.
I lined up behind Jamie Cameron, massive powerhouse of Pro City Racing team, planning to use him to draft me up the start lap..haha, but I must have jumped the gun, because we ended up tangling handlebars and he was literally dragging me along...not really what I had in mind. Sorry Jamie. Once I got myself sorted out I was somewhere in the back of the pack watching Dawn Anderson ride away from me. Luck for me, I for some reason still have my really good starts and was able to power back up....unlucky for me, I don't have the recovery and fitness to survive these hard starts and I was getting that metallic taste in the back of my throat. Goal for this race, go out as hard as I could and shock the c$&p out of my high end system which has been on holidays since Louisville USGP. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!
After killing myself in the first 15 mins, I had to settle in, find my groove and see what my legs and body could handle. Riding this course I was thinking, oh this is easy, nothing to it, but racing it was another story. Full on power course, with no rest, and all the smooth buffness of the trail seems to disappear when you're a little bit tired. And tough on the back!!
Halfway through the first lap I could just see Regan up in the distance, probably had 30-40 seconds on me, and I continued to chase him down finally catching halfway through the 2nd lap. For the next lap and a half we hammered each other into the ground....felt just like our normal Sunday rides :-) On the long steady false flat I finally managed to pull away from Regan, thinking I'd finally shaken him. A little encouragement on the way past...or maybe some ribbing, I laid the hammer down trying to put some time into him.
When what to my wondering eyes did appear.....he managed to pull me back in and pass me on the final technical singletrack section. DOH!!! Keeping as close to him as possible, we popped out onto the double track within seconds of each other. With about a km of rolling double track to go, I hammered to catch up, finally grabbing his wheel on the last corner and slingshot around him to sprint. I could see Regan grabbing my wheel....but the battle was on....love or not this is war!! The final finish sprint seemed to go on forever!!! Haha, and I just nipped him out by 1 second at the line :-)
I was pleasantly surprised how good I actually felt during the race and pushing myself hard again, great way to jump start the system and training....now I'm back to being a full time cyclist. Thank you Campbell River for the awesome race, the post race hot dogs and Regan for the sprint finish!!!!