Thursday, October 4, 2007

More Racin'?

Playing catch up yet again on what's been happening. For the most part this great fall weather has really lent itself to some really nice days of racing. Sept 23rd WORS had event #11 of the year the Iola Tator Bake Race -- they were a late minute race replacement when the WI Rapids course was closed after a purchase by developers -- however this race course just 30minutes east of Steven Point was rather sweet. It's held at a Ski jump area so though there are some hills not as much as one would find at ski hill course, but the single track was made for speed. Don't get me wrong it was challenging but you were constantly swooping it back and forth through the woods. Some would probalby liken it to the Cable trails. The Expert/Comp Level races went off at 1pm, in it's age waves and divisions. Not feeling too great when we arrived and I had a slow warm up so I wasn't sure what to make of how the day would go. I got the exceptionally poor starting position that I've been cursed to by not getting to early year WORS races and gathering the points in the series to be in the call ups to the front. But hey where's the challenge then?
The start went pretty fast and when we started going up the first climb in the course I could really tell I wasn't feeling well. Fortunately I was climbing past racers here and there and picking my way back to the front. After being back 30 deep in the start by the mid point of the first lap (of four) I'd found some real good speed, caught back up and was chasing with Mike Budd after the 2 or 3 guys that got out front early in the race. The two of us road off a group of 7 or 8 guys in a hurry and were happily thinking we'd wouldn't be seeing them again and had our sights set on reaching the front guys. Well, somewhere in all the fun of pinning it through the single track Mike somehow dropped off in lap 2 and at the same time a group of 2(Ric Damm & Michael Naughten) had caught back up to me. Not exactly what I was planning on seeing and if I'd been feeling better on the climbs I might have tried to pull away again. For as good as the first couple laps ended up being I was getting killed on the hill climbs with these guys -- Ric would put 30 yards or more on me on the climb and I'd just have to rail it on the downhills, flats and single track to catch up. A sign that season long fatigue creeping in is lack of power on the hills and tendency to turn the big gear -- well, I opt for fast cadence and didn't resort to the big gear but the normal hill-skills weren't there and that gets to be frustrating. When you've trained all year long and your form is coming around the last thing you want to have is that cumulative fatigue hamper your racing. But when you're there, there's not a lot you can do -- at least when you're in the middle of race. Overall, I felt we were riding the course fast and picking off racers in other waves and in the final lap the guys I was riding with were able to pull away on the hills and there wasn't enough real estate left to catch them afterwards. And an effort by Mike Budd in the last lap was probably the most amazing thing I've seen all season. We'd dropped him good half way through the race but it's like he had reserved his turbo until the final lap, he went by me like I was standing still and moved up from probably 20th place to 5th overall. Really something. Out of the 87 racers I continued my "dominance" of places 10th thru 12th -- it seems like every time this year at WORS races where I haven't had illness or mechanical I get one of those places. I was really aiming for overall win in WORS Comp like I had in MNSCS Comp this year but it just hasn't come together. T.I.R - That Is Racing. But with late season fatigue and how bad the Cheq 40 went the previous week, pulling out a 12th place overall result like that was nice to see. Didn't think I'd be saying this but I'm looking forward to a break from racing -- physically I need it more than mentally. I'm wiped out for two days after a hard effort vs. ready to go the next day and a solid nights sleep keep evading me. But a week or two of easy riding and I should be feeling good again. Just in time for some nice long fall rides and the occassional Cross Race. What a crazy sport -- why get off your bike when you can go over or around barriers? Can someone answer me that?