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PV Cycle Derby, RME Series

Wow, what a day!  The PV Cycle Derby went off yesterday and boy was it a good one.  The venue was at the Peaceful Valley Boy Scout Camp in Elbert, CO.  This is a great place to hold any type of MTB Race.  Our race  was three 22 mile loops that zigged and zagged through the camp property.  Sick singletrack throughout the course, but not much rest in between.  A strong head wind made the wide open climbs that much harder.

For me the race was great.  I lined up with the Overall Series Leaders Jersey on to complete the series.   After a neutral roll out I led the group up the first climb and into the single track.   I didn’t set the pace hard and I wanted to have someone to race with and help work through the wind and up the climbs.  No body joined me, so I rode my pace.  The first lap was super fun.  I didn’t have a chance to pre-ride, so all the trails were new to me.

After the first lap, I was 2 min ahead of second place and sitting in the top 10 over all.  I then set my goal to see where I could get in the overall race standings.   I kept my pace high, but within my limits.   I was slowly picking off the 30+ age group, and caught a couple of pros.   Still riding alone, the high wind was zapping my power.  Lucky for me, I train all winter long in the high winds, so I know how to get though it.  Near the end of the second lap I could see friend Ben Welnak ahead of me.    Which gave me another carrot to chase.

Going out for lap three, Ben was 30 seconds ahead of me and within a couple of miles I was on his tail.  He picked up his pace, hammering out of the saddle many times.  While he was doing this, I was pushing hard, but keeping it under control.  Ben was having a great race, and we were sitting top 7.  We picked off a couple of riders a long the way.  Eventually Ben let me pass him, but he was never far behind.    Eventually he caught me again in the single track and we rode together for a while longer until he lost his traction on a steep loose climb and I put a good gap on him.     We also had pressure from another guy that was trailing about 1 min behind.  He was good in the single track, but slower on the climbs.

With not much climbing left, I was trying to keep the pace high.  In one of the last technical sections I came up to Russ Kappius who needed a tube.  I have to stop every time someone needs something.   It’s not only the friendly thing to do, but also Karma.  I want and have needed help on the trail many times, so I need to pay it forward.  While I was helping  Russ, Ben and our chaser came right up to us.  The chaser passed, and I handed Russ the tube and pump.  Ben stayed to help more and I took off.  At this point I had nothing left.  I tried to keep pushing hard, but the speed was slow.  Now I was the chaser,and couldn’t catch him.

Ben ended up catching me within a mile of the finish about 30 seconds ahead.  It was fun riding and racing with him.  He is a strong rider and was showing great late race form on this day.  Nice job buddy!

The Warriors Cycling Crew did an outstanding job on this series.  Each race was well planned and executed.  I’m looking forward to see what they have in store for us next year.   Thank you Thane, Hutch and the Race Crew for all your hard work to provide us endurance nuts with sick riding and great times.

My next race is the Vapor Trail 125 next weekend.   This won’t actually be a race for me, but more of an adventure ride.  My goal is to simply finish.   After that, my race season will wind down.  I had planned on racing 24hr Nats in some capacity, but I’m thinking I’m going to scratch that.  It’s been a long and successfully season and it’s time to decompress a bit and give some time back to the family.  There are some late season races I’ll probably jump into, but there are none planned and I won’t be training for anything in particular.

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