It's almost getting too late to update on this one - Chequamegon was so last week. By now I think everyone has heard the story and seen the results but I guess I can give a quick update from my point of view.
I had good legs once again Saturday and went across Rosie's field right behind Tilford after a safe transition off the road. Unlike last year, I was able to ride in the top 5 at all times and never drifted back. This really hurt me last year and with all the large puddles and the shuffling that goes on back there, it is very important to ride the front, take some pulls, and be a part of the race and not just hanging on.
Mike Anderson was aggressive at the front at some defining moments of the race and I made sure to be at the front where I could see lines around the puddles that were causing havoc further back.
Our group of 4 got separation after Martels(?) pothole and when we came out on the road section I made sure everyone rotated a few times to keep the pace up and make sure the gap stayed up. We all worked well together until fire tower climb. Jason put a slight gap on Brian and I, but we brought it back on the backside.
Jason attacked hard going onto the birkie trail with 8 miles to go and I couldn't respond, but I was able to keep him in sight and keep the gap manageable. I knew it would be very dificult for him to stay away on the gravel road if Brian and I worked together. Luckily a headwind helped us out and we did end up catching him just before the final 4 wheeler trail. I made a hard move on the 2nd or 3rd climb to try and get a gap but didn't have much. I think I was stronger mentally here than physically but Brian saw that Jason was gapped and gave it more gas which I could not respond to.
I finished completely gassed and seeing spots, I've never done that before in a race. I wanted it bad, but Brian has that last mile dialed I guess. Still, I kept my streak of placing no worse than 2nd at a mtn bike race this year alive and I'm happy to finally stand on the podium at Chequamegon.
After the race we took Ellie over to the Musky museum but they were closed so we looked at the giant fish through the fence. Ellie has made it to 2 of 2 of the triple crown again this year and I think she is going for the iceman this year too!