Sunday, May 29, 2011

Trans-Sylvania Epic Prologue

Today kicked off the 7 day stage race that is the Trans-Sylvania Epic.  It was kinda cool to be at the pre-race meeting sitting next to Barry Wicks.  Fortunately there is a Masters 40+ class, so I didn't have to race the pro's.

It was a hot, sunny day but had apparently rained quite a bit recently because there was standing water some places.  I pre-rode the entire course thinking it was a bit shorter than it turned out to be.  I'm not sure if it helped me or hurt me, but at least I knew what to expect - a bit of EVERYthing.

We started in one minute intervals from the Scout camp.  I was concentrating on my pace and effort and missed a corner...  I got turned around and back on course and calmed back down in time to twist thru the scout camp, cross a creek twice and on to the open road.  I knew there were a lot of technical and rocky sections coming up so I made it point to be in time trial mode every time I was on the open road.

After about 3 (or maybe 4?) miles of down and up the open road I got to a super tight section of trail that was kinda like riding in someone's back yard.  The trees were thick, so it was dark, it was kinda gravelly and rooty as well.  This gave way to a bit if uphill double track which turned into rocky, washed out single track.  This climb went on seemingly forever.  It was loose with large rocks everywhere.  I'm definitely not used to this type of trail.

After cresting the top there was a bit of a break with some gravel road, faster (but still rocky) single track and even some sandy sections.  There was a short hill on a gravel road that was so steep I decided it would be better effort-wise to hike it than ride it.

After this was a return to the Scout Camp where I probably lost the most time to my competitors.  There was deep standing water, mud, loose dirt and wet roots.  I had to do a few short hikes but after a soft saw dust climb, a trip through an amphitheater, and back around the lake I happily passed thru the Red Bull Finish line.

I felt like I ran a good, solid pace.  I made some technical mistakes and one wrong turn but I had passed 3 riders and no one caught me.  When the results came out I was glad to see I was listed in 5th place.  Tomorrow's stage is being billed as the hardest of the week.  We'll see how things shake out...

See you on the trails!

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