That's about sums up the past 3 races for me since my 3rd place at Bloomer. To reacp:
July 28th - Tree Farm Relay - Team was sitting in podium position after 3 laps and I had a major tangle passing another rider which caused a crash and valuable mins doing trail repair to my bike to get it rolling again. I lost close to 4 mins on that crash and we lost the race by 5 mins. It's been a week and a half and it still bothers me. I had a lot riding on that race and since last year have been bent on winning that race after coming in second in 2011. We still finished 4th out of 17 teams but that's the first time since 2006 we have walked away from that race without a top 2 finish.
Aug 4th - Brighton XC - As always I am not a good starter and get bad field position in the hole shot. Went into the woods in 11th place and spent my first lap of a 2:18:03 race looking for passing room where there wasn't much. I had my first taste of racing against Simon Bailey as him and I spent the majority of the race switching at the point fighting for the last podium spot in our class. With 6 miles to go I was able to tighten the screws and build a small gap between us but 3 miles later it backfired as I stated to cramp and could not hold my pace any longer. He was able to pass me and build a lead I couldn't close after I recovered and I ended up finishing 4 seconds behind him. Looking back I should have waited another couple miles to attack him. Live, learn and move on to the next race with knowledge in your back jersey pocket.
Aug 5th - Ruby XC - This was an A race for me until I found out that Dub9, Lako-moto and Chunk all weren't going to be there in the geared class. Still a fun course though and figured if nothing else it would be loads of fun to race there again. Well, race day came and so did the rain and only one other person in my class. By the time I got to the starting line I had lost a lot of motivation to be fast. Less than 10 minutes into the race another rider from a different class crashed in front of me on a wet wooden bridge and even though I got past him okay I wasn't set up properly for the next bridge and since I wasn't fully upright with my weight centered I went down to mother earth with a large thud, shoulder first. Ouch. That one hurt but I was okay and so was the bike. But I sat there on the ground for a second wondering what I was racing for that day. I had a hard time taking glory in possibly winning a race against only one other person even though that person was a well know fast Jeff Cerget. I kept thinking about my upcoming 'A' race at Maybury and how if I wrecked my bike or injured myself and had to miss that race I would be very upset. I pedaled on for another mile trying to refocus but could not get a radar lock so I called it quits because low focus and slippery trail conditions could lead to a much worse crash.
But . . .
Through these three races didn't pan out for me like I wanted them to, I got to be part of some good results for some closer friends of mine.
First, my one and only teammate Brian killed it at all three of these races. He redeemed himself from last years Relay and threw down some sick fast lap splits for the team. Then at Brighton, even though he blew up toward the end he was still able to salvage a 3rd place in his class for a great podium finish. At Ruby less then 24 hours later he not only won his class, he laid waste to the entire Sport Category and set the fastest time of the day...and he came through the finish chute like he could have went another 15 rounds. It's been so fun to be there for "The Year of the Diesel."
Another person is my boy Brad Lako. After a disappointing finish at Bloomer he bounced back 2 weeks later to finish 2nd place at Brighton and remind us all what he is really capable of. Just when I thought I was making progress on catching him.....lol. My money will be on him come the Stony XC in three weeks. I now I can't match his power but I just hope that I will be able to do enough to stand up there on the podium with him that day.
And last, my dog John Osgood. What a freight train this guy is. After chasing his butt around Bloomer 2 weeks ago and coming up 8 seconds short, he put the hurtin' on me at Brighton and finished a solid 4th place more than 2 mins ahead of Simon and I. Then, like Brian, 24 hours later mounted his Single Speed and rode what may have been his most complete race of the year so far. Starting his 3rd lap of a 3 lap race I had him clocked at being 4 MINUTES ahead of closest rival but didn't want to tell him then as I wanted to double check that I was correct. So I waited for the next rider and sure enough, damn near 4 mins! So I raced to the next road crossing and informed him of the gap he created. Then was able to be there to see him finish. Killer race.
So, even though I had a rough 2 weeks it was great to still be out there to see the people you went through the ranks with over the years have their days. Very proud of them all as they earned their stripes without short cuts. Anyone who stands on the podium at the end of the race, no matter what class, will tell you it wasn't an easy ride to get there.
And also big ups to JTP and David Moore as well on their accomplishments in the past two weeks. Two guys who I have gotten to know a little better this year that have been pulling down some hardware as well.