Unfortunately, United decided to break up my travel to NV. Nevertheless, I made it to Carson City at 1:30pm on Friday. Just in time to catch the riders meeting and build my bike up before the fat tire crit.
I had my mind set on sucking wheel the entire Fat Tire crit. I didn’t want to get out there and go too hard with all the travel in my legs, feel like crap, then be in a bad state of mind as the big Capitol 50 loomed on Sunday morning.
With that in mind I stayed towards the front and kept it conservative. The only thing on the line was glory and I was trying to save everything I had for Sunday. It was fun to race with a good number of people hanging around town. Todd, the Epic Rides crew, and the city of Carson City did a good job getting the word out to the towns people. It’s always better racing when cow bells are ringing, people are shouting, and heckles are thrown about.
I slept like a baby Friday night and awoke excited to check out the course. On the way over I saw a bunch of posts being put up of the glorious views the route had to offer and I wanted to experience some of that first hand. I knew that I wouldn’t enjoy them as much on Sunday when I was bleeding out my eyes.
Russell and I set out on the final 5mile climb on course. Ash Canyon to Kings Canyon, a single track climb switchbacking its way up and over the ridge that separated the two canyons. Then bombing down a chunky dirt road to finish on a paved road where speeds of exceeded 50mph on MTB’s! WHAT?!
The views over looking the city were cool and with this little nugget of what was to come I was chomping at the bit to get the real race going.
A lazy Saturday afternoon was spent reaching the end of the internet followed by the best Massaman curry I have ever had in my life! Who would have thought, in Carson City, NV of all places!
Sunday was game day! The winds died, the temps were up, and it was beautiful as could be. The Shotgun start got our hearts pounding and our legs moving onward and upward, eventually topping out at the top of the course 22miles in and 4,000ft higher than where we started. I was lucky enough to have Adam Craig to hang out with on the way up. The minuscule amount of conversation we had kept a smile on my face and I was even happier to follow some of his lines down the raddest DH on course, Snap Dragon.
From there it was a lot of peddling, which would have been fine had I not cramped at the bottom of the descent. I was in damage control mode until we hit the final climb where I got back into stride and managed to pic a few guys off to finish 19th. Definitely not what I came to Carson City for but I don’t know what I expected. I am in good shape but the 22mile climb off the start line had me watching gaps grow between me and my competitors. Coming from sea level was obviously not ideal but, again, I knew what I was getting into.
Russell finished 4th and got a podium beer, which he brought back to the room and let me devour. That raised my spirits and so did the anticipation of our evening plans.
We grabbed dinner to go and headed up to Lake Tahoe to take it in for real and watch the sunset. We drove a good way around it until we found our first spot to hangout on its rocky shores, even crossing into California at one point. We tested the water and hung out until heading to another spot for the most epic sunset!
Logan Shoals Vista point provided an amazing end to a not so ideal day. However, as the sun dipped down over the sierras to our west it was hard to hold a grudge or think about anything but happy thoughts. Mother nature is good at turning my frown upside down and I am always impressed with what she has to offer if you only make an effort to stop and look.
Back to NC for a little reset before ramping up for CX. I have a few MTB races planned to cap out the summer but Rochester, NY kicks of the CX season on the second weekend of Sept and from there is it non stop for 6 races, all C1’s and two world cups!