First off I have to say that this might be my very favorite course so far this season. What Phil Oppenheimer and Dan Norton (and everyone else who helped) did with the layout of this course was amazing. We had just about every element you can have in a cross race minus snow and heavy mud. I loved this course!!
I started the morning out with doing a warm up lap with the Cycle U Team. We rode a lap together so I could show them all the different parts and help them learn to ride everything the best they could. While I was out riding I was getting very excited knowing that this course could not have been better laid out for me. It started into a huge flat sandy beach section that was like 250 feet long or so. The best line through there was in the lake!! Then we went into a lot of up and down little sections and then back into another shorter flat sand section, this was much faster then the other section. Then we went out onto the side of this hill that we basically went up and down with both power climbs and great downhill sections. Then back to the finish. This was a course for someone with great bike handling skills for sure and a lot of power in their legs.
I lined up at the start line with our women 1/2 field. I just knew this was going to be a great day for me, I was feeling good and was so excited to ride the course. So the gun went off and I managed to get the whole shot going into the sand and dove right over to the lake and rode in the water about a foot off of the shoreline. SO much faster, I was able to ride everything until the last 10-15 feet where I had to jump off and run to get out of the deep sand. At that point I already had about a 10sec gap on the rest of the women's field. We then went into this up hill section that I wasn't able to ride because it was to loose, down side was when I turned the corner I was looking at about half of the Master 35+ men's category standing still trying to get up this section. So I decided I was going to have to push my way through a little bit. I didn't want to loose the gap I had. So I went up the left side and just started yelling I was coming and it got everyone moving and all those guys let me by.
I hate having to do that, because I know they are all fighting for position too, but they are all so darn nice and always let me through. Thank you guys!!
I started feeling really good and started using my handling skills to pass a lot of the guys. I spent the first 3 laps passing and trying to see how far I could move up in the guys. At the end I was told that I managed to move up into the top 10 with a 30sec gap at the start. So I was very excited about that, that is always my goal is to make the top ten but I have not done it yet this year.
So I finished in first in the 1/2 Women and around 10th in the Master 35+ Cat 3 men. Overall a great day!!!
Off this weekend back to Steilacoom, not usually a course that favors my riding style. With fast flat sections and a longer uphill run. But I will go there trying to do the best I can!! I will let you all know how it goes.