Coming off a long ski season and not really riding my bike from early November until the beginning of May, I knew the fitness and the base would be there, it would just be a matter of getting the high end power back into the legs. Racing has felt almost casual and pre race, I have felt very relaxed.
River Valley Rumble XC:
A classic Terwillegar course combining elements of the Fat Tire Tuesday courses (when they were still at Terwillegar). The race was almost entirely different than the riding that I had been doing in Canmore up to that point. Fast punchy climbs, basically an all out sprint for maybe only a minute, but lots of them. I found that I was able to put up a good fight here, I held my position through the race after working up from a weak start, and there has to be some training benefit to going hard up those hills!
|Slaying singletrack on the new bike!|
Canmore Toonie Races:
Canmore has a decent midweek series put on by RMCC with races every two weeks. Unlike the Fat Tire Tuesdays, the format is different each week. Unfortunately, I missed the first race, a drag race up the Spray Lakes climb, which could have played to my strengths. I did the 2nd race, featuring a couple of heats up the shorter Silvertip climb and I was able to put in the fastest time. The third race was based on the world cup eliminator style with a short 2min loop, all out effort. Again I was able to throw down some fast times to continue building the engine.
|My hillclimbing machine!|
Deadgoat Summer Solstace:
A little unsure of how the weather conditions would factor into the course, I remembered back to the Giver8er race I did 2 years ago and how the course seemed to survive the monsoon fairly well. This race was no different for us. While the roots were slippery, I had fun flowing the smooth dirt and letting the wheels slide a little in the damp corners. The climbs were longer than at Terwillegar, but they were steep, and I was just lacking the power to continually send them.
Revelstoke Toonie Race:
I love riding in Revelstoke, and they were planning on holding a 1.5hr toonie race, how could I not go? I crushed some singletrack in the early afternoon with my brother, then got ready for the race in the evening. I started hard to string things out, but people were hanging in there. Eventually I was out front with Marty Schaffer and Brendan MacIntosh (owner of Flowt). I could not drop these guys on the hills, and they were consistently putting time into me on the descents. I blew up and slowly faded before losing another 3 places on the last lap. There are some ridiculously fast riders from the Stoke! I felt great on my bike all day, and put in some solid efforts in the race.
|Riding in Revelstoke always blows my mind. The Tantrum trail holds some great technical singletrack.|
Iron Maiden XC:
Honestly, I was not really looking forward to this race. My thoughts were that this was a good course for the wet weather on race day for the last 2 years, but it doesn't really use the trails and loops at the Nordic Centre that I enjoy and ride on a regular basis. Plus, that rock staircase thing, the "organ donor", or more accurately the "ass puckerer" scares the shit out of me. But I showed up to the start ready to throw down a solid effort. I was feeling awesome on the singletrack sections, and the "ass puckerer" was closed, so I didn't have to feel the shame of taking the 'B' line! The bike felt great on the singletrack and I was able to flow through sections that others weren't, and not have to chase back on the hills! That's a first! One of my best elite races!
I wasn't sure if it would be worth doing the Kootenay Krusher, but now I think I have to!