Thursday, June 3, 2010

TransSylvania Epic: Stages 3, 4, and maybe some of 5.

I'm hanging out in the back of the yuppie wagon right now with my feet up waiting for my kits to come out of the washing machine at the laundromat. The glorious life of an mtb racer. After the soul crushing day I had on stage 2, stage 3 offered a shot at redemption and a move up from my 11th in GC.
A picture is worth a thousand words so here you go. Photo credit to A. E. Landes. Abe takes some sweeeeet pictures. Check his stuff out.
I ended up making the lead group this day, I found myself about 7 miles into the race riding low tempo pace next to the big boys.The course was 4800 ft of climbing over 45 miles. It look us through lots of dirt roads, some really rugged trails, historic train tunnels, and some fast descents. My GC rivals missed the selection that formed and I was set up to put some big time on the competition should I be able to hang on for a bit. I had to work to keep contact on the climbs, some almost 10 minutes in duration. There is a lot of dirt road on this stage so the drafting factor was high. We were doing 20 to 25 mph at times on the flats just motoring through the rain. When we hit the first really sick trail of the day called fisherman's path Jeremiah got a little gap on the group and the pace went up a lot on the climb immediately after. I was relegated to the chase group, but realized the gap was getting too big and bridged back up taking a big dig. A couple guys were unable to make it back up and the group dwindled down to maybe 6 riders.
I was able to hang on until the huge work road climb at mile 33. The elastic snapped and I was forced to stay within my own and ride the last 10 miles by myself. Right after the above picture was taken, I screwed up. The course was marked for a right turn. There was a continuation of the trail I was on and next to it a turn onto a dirt road. Being a piece of roadie scum, I naturally went for the dirt road. I climbed for a few minutes and realized I had not seen the typical directional arrows that have been placed after the turns to indicate proper direction. I started to descend and eventually hit the course marshalls who informed me I had ventured off course. I begged for directions and then realized where I had gone wrong. I throttled it and back tracked to the last turn and found the entrance to the singletrack. It was not pouring and I was riding a bit of the adrenaline rush from realizing I may have just wasted 10 minutes. I blasted through the last few sections of singletrack and made it back in for 8th place on the day. I would have moved into 9th overall without the mishap, but such is life. I only ended up loosing 5 to 6 minutes on my extra 1 to 2 mile adventure. got some press on XXC mag, and
Stage 4 at Raystown Lake
Was fast. Thats pretty much all you need to know. 33 miles and 2800 ft of climbing of 13mph avg pump track ripping trails. I rode strong and kept myself out of the trees, and or out of the lake and worked to make some progress in the GC. has a sweet video of the stage here.sweet video
I kept it on the ground and put some time into 9th on GC. I think I ended up 11th on the day. Most importantly the fun factor was high. It has to be when you whip out 33 miles in less than 2.5 hrs. Lauren worked the feed zone today because she rocks. It was nice to get a bottle from her because no matter how good the volunteers have been nothing beats Laurens PRO hand ups.
This place is nuts though. Its just so fast. You hit jumps going UP hill.
Stage 5 update will have to wait... lets just say it was a lot of racing downhill... and I lost a little bit of time... but hey I can get it back. 50 miles to race... 2 more stages
Stage 3 Suunto file here.


Chris said...

I've been watching the vid and gc, kill it!

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