As I looked around at the line I knew I needed a strong start so that I could hang on the train of riders through the fast single track of Big M. Go! Brings my mind back to the task at hand. I trounce hard on the pedals and drop in 4th behind Vanias, Burke and Acker. “Well we see how long I an hang on here” I think to myself as we rocket through the woods at 22mph. The four of us mostly rode together for the first lap and I was happy to hang in. Vanias and Burke would put up a small gap on the up hills and we would reel them back in on the down side. Much to my surprise on the first big hill of the second lap Matt waved me around as the other two again attacked up the hill. So much for just hanging on. I stood in response to keep their wheel but could not keep with them. I didn’t get back until the down side. The remainder of the lap we scorched through the single track together. Without much surprise Alex attacked at the beginning of the 3rd lap up the long climb. I requested more of my legs and got nothing. I stood and put in a effort I realized I could not hold. I watched as he put a gap on us both that held with him just at the edge of sight. The 4th lap was left to Tom and I as Alex pulled out of sight. I figured I would test my legs and see what I had. I stood and hammered up hill and put in a small gap. I stretched it a bit more down one of the blazing fast down hills drifting for a 4th time that sandy left hand’er. Surprised to find my legs in full working order I kept the gas on standing and hammering anywhere there was space. Up the last big hill I am greeted with the update that Alex is 20 seconds up. I continue to work hard up the hill and grab an additional gear as I crest the top. I empty the tank in chase.. I don’t have enough to bring him back. I finish in second with a gap of 10 seconds.
Big M is a race that got the better of me last year. I showed up unprepared and unready. I was dropped off the main group in the first lap and dropped out of the race in the second. It was with that level of trepidation that I came back to this race.
This year my fitness is where I wanted it to be and I was as rested and ready. The dense fog cleared as we got to the race. I looked around to see what kind of race I was in for. It looked like it was going to be dry, a bit sandy and very fast. My class was packed full of excellent riders. Again it was going to be a fast day.
There is nothing better then to finish a race catching up with teammates and chasing good results with a beer. Some races have more value then other and this one felt really good.