This weekend I traveled west to Merrimac, WI for the AMBC Subaru Cup at Devil's Head ski resort. Devil's Head is by far the best race course on the WORS circuit, long sustained climbs, awesome single track and plenty of rock gardens to keep you on the rivet. It's a real man's man course for sure.
The weekend stage racing started Saturday morning with a super D time trial. I was running a little lower pressure because of the slippery conditions and flatted 2/3 into the race and ended up losing 1:42 to Jeff Hall. As it turned out, that would be a trend to the weekend - not flatting, but losing time to Jeff.
Saturday night was the short track, usually a pretty painful experience, but even more painful when only 5 guys line up to race! I was a bit disappointed with the "pro/semi pro" turnout" for the stage race, last year there were about 15 but this year it seems everyone had there reason not to race until Sunday's XC. Hard to believe too since Don was handing out money for each stage, plus an overall - You guys missed out!
Well, It's pretty hard to get motivated when there's only 4 other guys to race but right from the start I new my legs hadn't shown up. Luckily, the 5 of us agreed to shorten the race to 17 minutes instead of 25 so I only lost a little time in the end to Hall and Matter.
Sunday's XC was a tough race. The course started at the bottom of a 10 minute climb straight up the ski hill. It took awhile to get the legs going again but I managed to bridge to Hall by the top of the climb. Hall looked way to relaxed when I caught him, drinking water at the top and pretty much looking like the climb didn't hurt him at all. It was a pretty good sized mental blow that went straight to my legs. Mid course when he cranked it pretty hard I let the gap open and that was it, I went into ride around like small child mode.
Travis Woodruff, straight off a full NORBA season set his sights on a struggling red Trek/VW rider in front of him and pulled the trigger, climbing past me on the 3rd lap like I was pedaling with one leg. I thought maybe if I shredded the decent I might be able to get back on him, but he was gone and put a solid 2 minutes on me by the finish. In the end I was able to hang on for third, and also put enough time into Matter to take 2nd overall for the stage race which made for a decent result.
All in all though it was a great weekend.Chris Shaw and Jason Schumacher from Trek were there for the weekend helping out and taking care of water bottle support for me which was great, thank you guys!
Don and WORS did a great job keeping things on time and smooth, and the course was awesome.