Race 1 – 2012 Charlotte Winter Short Track Series

Sunday was the first race of the Charlotte Winter Short Track Series hosted by Charlotte Sports Cycling.  Everyone was fearing cold weather but somehow Neal ordered a beautiful January day.

My race was at 12 but I arrived early to set up the Cool Breeze/Trek Bike Store Team tent with Sarah.  My first mountain bike race of the day was the Sport 40+ class.  I lined up on the 2nd row feeling confident that I could get a good start.  I was joking with my buddy Wayne when the race started.  I usually don’t have a problem getting clicked in but missed my pedal but managed to keep my momentum and eventually get clicked in before the first turn.

I entered the turn 1 and used some of my road racing experience to pass 4 or 5 guys.  I took a small risk and entered the woods in about 5th place.  The first lap was uneventful and I did my best to keep my heart rate under control.

I don’t remember if it was the first or 2nd lap, but coming through the start/finish line, I felt pretty good and attacked.  It was too early, but I was thinking that I’d catch some lapped traffic and be able to get some time on the group.  TJ from Giordana followed me and we managed to pull a good lead.  TJ took the lead from there and I did everything I could to keep up with him.

TJ was super strong and was pulling away from me on the gravel road when we exited the woods.  I managed to stay with him for 4 or 5 laps.  He’d drop me and then I’d catch him in the woods.  With 3 laps to go, he put in a big surge on the gravel road and I was toast. I did my best to hang on.

I could see a group of 3 or 4 riders chasing at the turnaround (turn 1).  But thankfully I managed to hold them off for 2nd place in the race.  It was a good wake-up call – the first race always is.

My second mountain bike race of the day was the Single Speed race about  an hour after my first race.  I was racing for fitness and started pretty easy.  The SS was pretty uneventful minus my legs giving out on me on the last 3 laps coming out of the woods.  I was passed by 4 of the SS riders, Justin, Jason and Bruce to name 3.  These guys are super fast, I’m not sure how they go so fast on their SSs.  I was also passed by two expert women.  I later heard one was 19.  Pretty impressive and it is a good example of how fast the women are getting.

So, 1 week down, 4 to go.  2nd in my first race and 10th in my second.

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