Really though, that was very very hard. You know those kind of races where within the first 30 seconds you know exactly what kind of race you're going to have? Sometimes you feel really great and you know you're going to go hard the whole time. Not today though. By the time I hit the gravel straight after the twisty pit section riders started streaming past me. It was one of those kind of races. The kind where it feels like you're working twice as hard as usual and going half as fast. Add a longer race time than I'm used to and it's a great recipe for a tough ride.
After the sub-24 hour bike camping trip two weeks ago, my right knee started hurting big time. I've never had sore knees in my life, so this was weird. After the awesome TNR charity ride it got even worse, so I stayed off my bike for a few days. Halfway through the race today I felt like there was a bomb exploding inside my knee. The only time it wouldn't hurt is if I'd stand up and sprint - sort of a sick incentive to go faster. I considered quitting mid-way but I was sitting in a good spot and knew I'd be mad at myself if I dropped out. Hopefully this doesn't stick around for the race next week.
Other than the knee issue, the race was great. I had a fantastic start, leaving in the third row but making my way to 6 or 7th spot by the time we hit the twisty pit section. That section was my favourite - the curve were just wide enough that you could hammer all the way around with no brakes. The river trail was also really great. I've always thought the trails we ride on TNRs would be sweet in a cross race, and now I got my wish.
The run-up was sadistic. By the end I was basically crawling up the second set of barriers. It was not pretty.
For the majority of the race I was in a battle with Peter, Gavin, and Greg. I'm usually close to Gavin every race, and the two of us are usually chasing down Peter. Greg is new to B this year and pulled the surprise move. Halfway through the race he took off from our group. I thought he'd explode since we had 30 minutes left, but he kept a solid lead right to the last lap no matter how hard to chased. Great ride Greg!
Now for some photos.
Daniel releasing a glorious stream of darkness from under his jacket.
Not sure if you know who this is, but she's kind of a big deal on the internet.
Good to see Brad was out racing and his derailleur worked out.