Race 3 – 2011 Charlotte Winter Short Track Series
Sunday was a good day on the bike at the Charlotte Winter Short Track Series. The weather finally turned and I was able to race without arm or knee warmers. It felt good to feel the sun on our skins and actually work up a sweat.
The mountain bike race started off fast and I went into the woods in about 5th place. I tried to take it a little easier on the first lap and try to get warmed up without going into the ‘red zone’. The first couple of laps went smoothly, with no issues and I was rolling along in 3rd place. I could see the two guys in 1st and 2nd place going through the start/finish line.
As it always is with mountain bike racing, you think you are much further along than you really are. I started hurting and Neal said we still had 23 minutes to go – we were only half way through the race. I could still see the two riders in front of me and got into a decent rhythm and was slowly starting to gain on the riders. I’d get a little closer and then catch slower riders. At one point I was trying to pass a rider and let him know I was behind him and that I would pass at a good point. He found one and promptly slammed on his brakes, forcing me to a complete stop. Oh well, that’s racing.
Finally Neal said two laps to go and I went as hard as I could. I wasn’t that far behind the leaders and luckily had a clear run through the single track and kind of caught a second wind on the last lap. Coming out of the woods, I could see the rider in second place and could tell he was hurting. I went as hard as I could and caught him in the grass section. Climbing the hill by the ball fields, I started my sprint and went hard to the finish. 2nd place after a good day on the mountain bike. I’m hoping my fitness is starting to build.