Monday, June 17, 2013

Kootenay Krusher

I didn't have a great race last year: dropped chains, missed corners, and getting stuck behind slower riders on long singletrack trails. I was determined to rebound and have a better race in 2013.

I bet they got a good deal on that arch!
The course was almost the same beautiful but punishing course as in previous years, but with some added new sections, a new start loop, and  the removal of a short loop at the north end of the course. I think that the changes improved the overall rideability  (less ridiculously steep up and down) and raceability (better selection before the 1st singletrack) of the course. Conditions were very similar to last year with the short, steep descents being nice and loose!

The field wasn't as deep as in previous years, but good battles were still had. The singletrack sections are long, and it was funny to see a guy get heckled after he attacked on the hill leading into the 1st singletrack, but then held up a long train of riders while letting Mike S float off the front.

I was feeling strong on the singletrack sections and could take it easy on the climbs as I rode along with a chase group for the 1st lap of the race until they pulled off and were replaced by their relay partners! I was alone for the 2nd lap, keeping the intensity high with the hopes of catching Mike, while confident that being smooth over the singletrack and hammering the climbs would fend off any chasers. I guess I have to go harder off the start as I ended up in 2nd.

My Xprezo W-29 seemed to take most of the sting out of Nipika's notoriously rough singletrack and allowed me to enjoy the views of the Kootenay and Cross rivers and the Rocky Mountains, and find the flow in the trails. Overall a great event with great support from the community (sponsors, volunteers, venue).

After the race, we headed to Invermere, slayed some grocery store pizza (the BEST road trip food), and checked out Panorama's XC race loop. The trails would be nice if they weren't trying to build houses in the middle of them!

Bill was ogling the dirt chutes!

Sunday, we had an awesome ride in Invermere, slaying the Kloosifier and Johnson trails. Kloos' is a loop of some fast singletrack through a desert landscape while the Johnson is a little more shaded and technical. Both trails served up a great dose of canyon views, excellent berms and great descending considering how easy the climbs were. Highly recommended. Peter is tired!

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