Race 2 – 2012 Charlotte Summer Mountain Bike Series

Originally Posted 4/25/2012

The first official race of the Charlotte Summer Series Mountain Bike Series hosted by Charlotte Sports Cycling was at North Mecklenburg Park.  I took the Cool Breeze Van down N. Meck and set the tent up.  With this being the first race and at a relatively easy course, the numbers were impressive.  I’m betting Neal had over 150 racers.  The Cool Breeze/Trek Bike Store team had 12 racers!  A great turn out!

I decided to race the Super Sport class for the Charlotte Mountain Bike summer series.  I considered the Expert class but don’t have a USAC expert license so I couldn’t sign up for the extra length required of the expert class.   We had 12 racers in the Super Sport class which is a great turnout for this class.

The mountain bike race started at the top of the parking lot, with a hard right turn at the bottom to enter the course.  I didn’t get a great start and followed my Team Mate Andy Good into the woods in 10th place.  I figured this was OK considering we had 4 laps to complete.  The group was pretty much together for most of the first lap.  About half way through the first lap, a gap opened up and 4 or 5 riders got away.  I decided that I would wait until we exited the woods to see if I could make up some ground.  The first lap was pretty uneventful and I felt good on the bike.

We exited the woods, I put the hammer down and managed to just pass Santana (Giordana-Clif Bar-Brica) going into the woods.  I was able to make up 4 spots but really had to work hard.  I kept working hard until I was able to make contact with the lead group.  Things were going well until we hit a steep section and caught a lapped rider.  Unfortunately, I slammed into the racer in front of me because I wasn’t expecting us to have to stop.  I ended up having to un-clip, run up the hill, and in the mean time, was passed by a rider in our class.  I managed to catch up to the group again and was planning my move when we exited the woods again.

Like all good plans in mountain bike racing, they only last so long.  I was doing well when I washed out on a left turn.  It’s amazing how riders can get away when you crash.  I didn’t think I was down very long before getting back on my bike, but lost contact with the lead group.  I was red lined coming out of the woods, backed off, drank some water and tried to figure out where I was.  I was able to see the last rider entering the woods about 100 yards in front of me.

Thinking I’d have no problem catching up, I kept going at a good pace.  Unfortunately, i ended up catching some lapped riders at the wrong time.  I didn’t think it was costing me too much time, but I wasn’t able to catch the lead group.  I kept riding as hard as I could thinking that maybe they would slow down.  On the 4th lap, I managed to see the lead group on some of the trail, but N. Meck is so twisty, that what looked close, wasn’t so close.  I kept thinking I’d catch the lead group.

But it wasn’t going to happen, not at N. Meck.  I ended up in Sixth Place, 35 seconds off of 1st Place.  So considering the course, crashes, lapped riders, I’m happy with my effort. I didn’t quit and had a ton of fun.  And the team is in 2nd place after the first event of the Summer Series.

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