Got to Mansfeild and setup shop beside my coach. Heather and Jason were both playing with the solo field. A few hellos etc at the registration building including some smack talk with Peter. Time to get in to the zone, alright not really. My warm up with kinda crap as I was more concerned at being near the front for the start. I managed the front line which in some cases is great in others times very destroying. In today's case it was the later.
I hate long uphill starts and my body does not go from zero to full out really well. It showed today as I got swarmed by the half way mark of the first climb putting me back around 40th out of the 200 plus riders starting for their teams. Hmmmm this isn't good but I know where my strenghts are and really no my weaknesses.
Started grabbing wheels and working my way back towards the front of the pack working my strength of recovering in the singletrack. The first lap in an 8 hour whether you are solo or not is just like an O-Cup. Battle for a good position so that the next couple hours are nice and smooth with an open race track. Well until you start lapping riders.
My game plan was to either hook on to Andrew or Tristan Smit's wheel and pace with them since these are two of the top endurance racers in Ontario. Well what do you know I hooked up with both of them on the second lap. The pace stayed pretty sane this lap as everyone chatted. They thought they were running 1-2 in solo. Someone that none of us know had slipped ahead right off the start. I think it would have been a little quicker had anyone of us had known.
Coming through the fourth lap we still kept things controlled but there were more silent times as Andrew and Tristan tried to push one another a little. I just stayed on a wheel feeling happy. Coming into the feed Tristan had to make a quick stop. I just rode along and then noticed that Andrew wasn't with there either. Ok guess I'm on my own. I finished up the lap at the same pace to see if they would catch up. Didn't happen.
This is when I decided to start testing my legs. I was feeling a little feisty so I picked it up a notch. My plan was to gauge myself amongst the solo's and ride at the pace I would for the full 8 hours. I was feeling really good and really strong today.
Coming up to 3 hours I still felt awesome. I started lapping a lot of other riders including my coach and let her know how things were. She was riding awesome and in third. 4 hour mark and I was smiling the whole time. I was having so much fun on this course. The first couple laps things were really soft but by now the corners started to berm up. The climbs felt small and easy, especially after last weekends race. I was still cranking sections out in the big ring. Oh did I mention that you needed to be a little remotely skilled to ride the singletrack. Lots of roots and tight switch backs. I am so happy to be on a full suspension again this year. I had a reminder why on my last lap.
Started into what I knew would be my last lap I had been playing with my rear lockout a little. The course was very dry and my bike was a nice shade of brown. Coming up a double track climb I switched the suspension back on. Ok more I thought I did. The lever goes this way for on right?? or is it this way??? I started to bounce on my seat to check and see if it was active. Nope. Ok, well it will climb fast then. Dirt someone effected the lockout switch and it wouldn't unlock, after I rinsed the bike off at the end of my lap it worked fine again. This did remind me on how much that suspension was working today, man was that course ever bumpy. I did have my second bike in the feed zone and would have switched had I still been able to ride longer.
Yes I did want to keep going but when I caught up with Heather on this lap she nicely said in a deep booming voice "you are done after this lap, RIGHT?" I thought about using the "ya but" "or can I please" lines but instead I put my head down as I went past her "Yes Heather" At this point had I a solo I was in second place overall. Finished my lap with a huge smile on my face and swapped out with Dr. Bill. He had just under 3 hours of riding to do. A little social time at the timing area then it was clean up, refuel and relax as the feeder for a few friends and Dr. Bill.
So nutrition for the day, because of the shorter laps,30-35 minutes and the dry course I went to bottle rotation every lap with a half mix of my 24 hour formula of INIFINT. No energy loss at all, zero cramping and for me the most important thing, no stomach issues. This is the best stuff out there.
Hanging out in the tent was great though as I teased many with that beer in my hand. Dr. Bill kept some great consistent laps and was loving the course. Considering the way that we did the ride times we finished 8th of the 47 teams in our division on the same lap as all but 2 of the teams.
Tanya won the solo women's division followed by Angela Webster
With my amazing coach Heather taking 3rd. Molly giving her some podium love.
Craig you sexy bitch, took 4th in the single speed solo.
Peter sporting racing stripes. I need to remind him that like those street racing kids that those stickers will not give your car an extra 50 horsepower. They did get him up to 3rd place today. Jamie Davies won followed my the monster Mark Summers. The single speed category is pretty crazy now.
Tristan sporting the unibrow finished 4th in the under 40 solo. I 'm working him to see if he will race at Solstice. Need someone fast for me to chase.
Andrew was riding well and is ramping for his next adventure in the U.S. 100 miler.
Need to give a big thanks to Dr. Bill for letting me intergrate my training into this race. I think we would have been battling for a podium if we rode it like everyone else.
I'm heading down to Hardwood this morning to put a few laps in on the Canada Cup course this morning. This is my last hard day before a recovery week. A few intervals, I hope then it's rest time. WOOO HOOO. I'll do a little spiel about it tomorrow. Right now, more coffee!!!!!!!!!