2 months out from a race I have targeted for a few years I decided to give Adaptive training a whirl. I had taken kind of a long break from training seriously during the summer, lost the gusto, but after participating in that gravel race above I felt the fire again and wanted to refocus on what I love, back country mountain bike racing.
Luckily after years of race experience I’ve learned what does and doesn’t work, so I dialed in my fueling both on and off the bike, tapered as best as I could and came into the event excited and ready for fun.
After a short and exciting time in the lead, I settled into the third position in the first single track section, then passed a rider on a shorter descent into second. Next section was a couple miles of pavement before a gentle gravel climb where I knew things would neutralize, they did, and I let the strongest rider pull us into the first real climb of the day (he was happy to!). Four of us rode briefly together until a selection was determined and I had to settle into fourth to avoid risking blowing up. After a long double track climb I was able to keep third in sight and in check. We started the next single track section with a quick hike a bike and then some slow technical climbing. He was riding strong enough and I was pacing myself well - I knew it was too early to ride in front. Finally at the very last technical climb before a long and tricky rocky descent I was able to take full advantage of my co-racers mistake. I passed on the uphill to take a clean look at the leaf covered terrain.
At the last Aid station I needed to quickly regroup and grab water, took on some fuel and some endurolytes but heard my competitor just a couple hundred yards back. I made a choice to dig in and hope that my pacing earlier in my race would serve me well here. Luckily it did and I was able to create more space before him and myself before the last descent toward the finish. I descended safely looking for the next rider but they had both put enough time on the climbs to hold me off on the downhills.
Finished at 3rd over all and 2nd in masters. TR outdoor focused plan and supplemental training rides really helped prepare me in a short amount of time. Very happy with the result and an extra stoked as it’s the first time I’ve raced mountain bikes in two years. Got that fire lit again! Thank you TR!