photo by Nick Gaetano
After a cold and miserable Boggs V, I got sick. And stayed sick. I was sick for the Napa Valley Dirt Classic. I was sick for Sea Otter. Three weeks later I was finally well enough to get back on the bike, and I've been slowly rebuilding my fitness.
Having missed every XC race of the season thus far, I was quite excited about the fun singletrack of a Lake Sonoma race. And it looked to be a real race, with some intimidating competition. There were 6 of us in the Pro category, including Jason Moeschler, Brian Astell, Glenn Fant and Shane Bresnyan. We started up the paved climb at a relatively controlled pace, and an amusing dynamic emerged. No one seemed to really want the hole shot, but no one wanted to be last either. I apparently wanted point position less than anyone, so I entered the singletrack dead last. Probably not the best plan. I was surprised to see Shane (winner of the first Grasshopper this year) right in front of me, and passed him halfway through the first lap. A little while later only Brian and Jason were ahead of me, but they continued to extend their sizable lead for the rest of the race. And that's how it ended up: Brian won with Jason second, and I came in a distant third, with Glenn chasing close enough to make me nervous. Congratulations to Brian on the win!
The Lake Sonoma course was fun as always, with the trailwork put in by Carlos & volunteers making a big difference. I chatted a little with Brian, Shane and Glenn, and have to say I feel lucky to race against these guys. Of course we try to rip each others' legs off while racing, but everyone I rode with was friendly and courteous on the trail.
To end this post on an even sappier note, my 9-month-old son has reached an age where he's overjoyed to see me at the end of a race, which makes me feel like a superstar no matter how I'm riding.