Thursday started out like all the others here in Wisconsin as of late, raining. It's getting old. It's impossible to train in cause it's too cold and really just makes everything seem gloomy.
There was a mtb race in Cable on Saturday but it was a 6 hour drive and it looked like rain up there too so I decided not to go, it would have cost more in gas than prize money for winning, or just about. Then, Thursday night I'm digging around cyberspace and discover that the Missouri NORBA state championships are also on Saturday and there is a quite sizeable prize purse. A prize purse that you just don't normally see at a local event, one big enough to lure me down.
Friday morning I packed up two bikes, jumped in my car and rallied down to St. Louis' west side for a preride. You could say I was hoping to "poach" the race, but I've learned there is almost never poaching when you're racing in someone else's back yard so I was prepared for a hard race, especially with the prize money, you never know who else is going to show. The locals are always tough on home turf especially as it was there state championship too.
Well, actually you can assume this guy will show. If it's within a 12 hour drive you can consider it his backyard too. Tilford was definitely poaching though, the race promoter kept telling me that Tilford was here "cherry picking" , so if the race promoter says so, you are. I on the other hand was not, cause once a guy like Tilford shows up, you no longer are poaching, but getting poached.
It was funny though cause we both warmed up together and had a good laugh that we both were there for the same reason $$$. I guess Tilford had just gotten back from doing tour of Japan earlier this week, lucky guy! But that also gave me good reason to joke that he was definitely a poacher showing up here after doing tour of Japan 3 days earlier!
Well, as luck would have it, We were riding together on the first lap and Tilly flatted on one of the rocky climbs leaving me to ride the front of the race and hope that he didn't ride his way back up to me after fixing it. It seemed to work out for me though and I was able to win by a few minutes and take home the prize.
I'll have to say it was an awesome race. 6 mile loop with substantial climbs on rocky, rooty, slippery shale rock and then some high speed descents along with two really good technical drops. Even a river crossing for good measure and cold feet. It was lots of fun and a challenging course, really the kind of course I wish more races were on since it seems to fit my style more than most.
And in an effort to "one up" Nick Martin this weekend, check out the size of the bonus check that the local Subaru/VW dealer gave away on top of the prize purse!! Fun stuff when local races go big!
That's the weekend, it's still raining here in Wisconsin so I guess I should have stayed down there a few more days to get some dry training in.