...from a week of shitty weather
...from Pennsyltucky for the day
...from a lack of high end intensity
These are just a few of the things which were escaped from the race, Escape from Granogue, earlier today in Montchanin, DE. Sunny skies greeted racers from all over the Mid-Atlantic after a week long period of rain. Some things I did not manage to escape include: "the pain cave", steep climbs, a little mud, a heart rate below 170 (yeah thats pretty high for me), cramps, Wes, and Chris. Finishing 3rd today felt pretty outstanding as it was the first time that I came ahead of A-ron and Harlan this year (two of the culprits who have been blaming each other for the ferociously fast starts that resemble a short track race rather than XC).
How it unfolded.
Started off with another fast as hell start. This time I believe it was Wes who was responsible. I found myself top 10ish on the first climb, picking off riders one by one. By the first section of singletrack I was right on either A-ron's or Harlan's wheel. Not sure which. I was pedaling myself cross eyed at the moment. I remained in that spot for a few minutes, then jumped into 3rd on a steep grass climb right before a section of rocky singletrack. Seeing Chris about 30 seconds up, I chased like mad but made no ground. Harlan was close behind and it remained that way for lap 1 with everyone still in close quarters. Lap 2 started off the same, but the lead exchanged as Wes had a slight mechanical and dropped back to 2nd. I found myself exchanging 2nd place with Wes throughout that lap and the first part of the 3rd and final lap. A bit of a gap had grown between us after I had to stop and pull a stick out of my rear derailleur. I felt great on the climbs today and with an uphill finish I just needed to get close to Wes again and just ride along with him until the end. Wishful thinking. It took the entire lap to close the gap as I reeled him in on the last climb, but had to settle for 3rd, 7 seconds back as I was all out of juice. Chris had finished about 2 min earlier. A-ron about 30 sec back from me. Well there's another exciting MASS race in the books for '08.
Can't wait to race again next weekend at the Mohican 100 in OH. Should be a good 7 or so hours in the hurt locker.