Everyone at the races this weekend must have wondered what I have been complaining about the last few weeks as I rolled across the line to take the win at WORS #3.
I myself was wondering what was going on as well, it had to be one the strangest wins of my career.
I have to give the credit to Brian Matter who suggested I ride the Fuel 110 instead of the 9.9. I haven't raced at Wausau for quite some time now and I really couldn't remember the course at all, but when the race is called "The Big Ring Classic" I guess that's a good tip off that you should ride the full suspension.
The race started super fast and I was suffering immediately about 20 guys back as we blasted down the sandy road. I kept trying to move up but it was impossible on the narrow twisty road and everyone was bumping into each other cause no one could see any anything. Finally I made a huge effort up a climb and got to the front but I was hurtin', then we came out on the road and did like 1/2 mile and I got swarmed again before going into the singletrack so I was pretty far back.
The singletrack was awesome though and that's were the Fuel 110 took advantage. Twisty, curvey,rocky,rooty, and the bumpiest singltrack I've ridden in quite some time. It was awesome! I was riding the fuel so well, using my whole body and just muscling the bike through everything, but then also being able to sit through the rock gardens and just crush it while the guys on hardtails pogo sticked over everything.
I worked my way to the front and finally bridged up to Cole House who was off the front. We had put a sizeable gap on the chasers through the long rock garden climb and we were away. Cole was riding really strong and I new he had good fitness, while I had no idea how I was going to respond to the effort I just put in. Cole pulled me through the first lap and then I pulled the second but I could tell Cole was feeling good and riding well so I was thinking how I could beat him if that was the case.
Well, shortly after Cole came into a rock garden in the lead and punctured his rear tire, I felt bad cause I new he was riding really strong but he was also riding a hardtail and there were so many sharp rocks that you had to be super careful.
From there it was just hold on and try and go somewhat fast on the road and then just shred the singletrack on the Fuel. It was funny cause I would just hammer the singletrack, totally focused and in the zone, and would come out of the section telling myself that no one was riding that section that fast. Then I would just talk myself over all the hills until the next singltrack section.
I think everyone was complaining of sore backs afterwards, I just told them to ride a fuel next time and do more situps! We don't have that many races with good hard singletrack though around here so it was a great change from the usual grassy skislopes we so often race on.
That's the race report, now it's time to wash and clean bikes so tomorrow I can pack them up and head out east.