Friday I headed out for the first race of the season, the Chalk Creek Stampede in Nathrop CO. The race was on Saturday which gave time for a pre-ride of the course. I didn’t need much of a pre-ride since I’ve done this race the past two years. Not much changes except the strength of the wind and the depth of the sand.
This course has 4 laps of 7 miles each. There is a short climb that finishes with a hike-a-bike section. Then a twisty single track with some sand pits to slow you down and toss you around. There is a long straight double track with a good headwind and slight incline.[singlepic=14,300,300,,center] The start of the race went off well. There is a long double track before heading into the the single track. I started out in the top three on the double track and lead the group into the single track. I didn’t want to get caught behind a bunch of guys, especially with the hike a bike section. Once we hit the hike a bike, I lost about 8 places, so I knew I had my work out for me to make a good placing.
Sitting in 9th place after the first 4 miles of the race I spent the rest chasing the guys in front of me. I felt strong and was was able to keep others from passing me. One guy did catch up, but I could tell he wasn’t stronger. I sat on his wheel for a couple of miles, then attacked after the climb.[singlepic=10,300,300,,center]
On lap 4 I felt the really good and was catching lots of groups, many in the 30-39 group that started 3 min ahead of me. I was able to pass two more people in my group to get 7th place and 5 min faster then the previous year.[singlepic=11,300,00,,center]
Overall, I thought the race was good. The bike rode perfect, and my fitness is where it should be this time of year. I still have lots of work to do, but I’m on track. Next up the Front Range 50 On Saturday.
Checkout the race map and my ride provide on Training Peaks below.