Andy Good and I headed up to the ‘Shootout on Angler’s Ridge‘ on March 13th. Andy raced in the Sport 50+ class and I raced in the Sport 40+ class.
My mountain bike race had about 25 people in the class and it was good to see some familiar faces in the lineup. I was on the front row of our group which seemed like a good place to be until the Race Director called ‘role’. By the time my name was called, I was on the 3rd row for the start of the race.
Thankfully there was about a 1/4 mile dirt road to start the race so I was confident I could move up before we hit the singletrack. Thankfully I was correct. At the end of the road we made a U-turn and started a climb. I was in about 7th or 8th when we started the climb and made it up to 5th place when we hit the singletrack.
The rider (Josh) on the front one the previous weeks race so we were content to follow his wheel. The pace was easy and the trail was about as twisty as it could be. Total fun. If you get a chance to get to Danville and ride, I recommend it.
We followed Josh for almost half the lap when we hit gravel hill. It was about an 8th of a mile long and very steep. Two guys in front of me attacked and I went with them. The pace was significantly higher from then on. I stayed with them until we hit some lapped traffic. I lost a little time to the racer in 2nd place.
I thought I’d be alright and catch him at the end of the first lap as we had the long dirt road to catch up. I was almost right. I managed to get 1st and 2nd place in sight heading back into the woods. Unfortunately, we didn’t do the climb on the second lap. I was behind two riders going back into the woods. It took me a while to get around them and by then, 2nd place was almost out of site.
I tried to pass a lapped rider and he just stopped in front of me and took me out. I ended up going down and it took me a few minutes to get going again. I did managed to see the rider in 1st place on one part of the trail that looped around.
I went as hard as I could after that and never saw 1st or 2nd again. I ended up 3rd in my class. I am pretty happy with the result, especially considering it was my first big (ie not local) mtn bike race in several years.
Below is my Garmin Edge 500 download. I also uploaded the ride to Strava.com.