The weekend started like all bike race weekends, with a nice pastry breakfast (at a place with a scone bar) and a pre-ride on Friday. The course was quite different from last year, which is one of my favorite things about WORS cup, they change it up and keep things exciting. The race was still at Cascade Mountain near Portage, WI, but the race director basically ran the course in reverse, save a few key features which have to be run in the same direction. The result was 3 smaller climbs rather than one drawn out one, and one less heinous fireroad situation.
The XC race on Sat started out in the heat and humidity of Mid-West mid-day. The field was a little smaller than usual, and pretty soon after the start I was able to get my booty into second place, feeling comfortable.
The rest of the race I pushed hard, moved back up to 3rd place, got passed by one girl on lap 3 (out of 5) and ended up in 4th at the end. There was much suffering in the sun, chasing 2nd place, feeling hopeful because I was making time and closing the gap, then getting passed and feeling a lot of pain in my butt, and finally feeling like I needed to conserve to maintain 4th place (5th was moving in on me at the end).
I very much enjoyed the broken up climb, the skills park section with wooden bridges and jumps, and the descent full of steep off camber turns. The riding out here is very different than anything I do in training, so it's exciting and hard and scary all at the same time! There was also a significant amount of mucus blocking my airways and/or exiting my body during laps 1 and 2, which made breathing pretty difficult. One day my body will stop being a mucus factory, until then I need to learn to not get snot ALL OVER me when I ride a bicycle :)
One of the most exciting aspects of this race (besides eating cheese curds at the farmer's market before hand) was that Brendan's parents, Diya, and Colin all came to cheer for me while Brendan manned the pits handing me water (by which I mean trying to hand me water that I turned down pretty much every time, sorry Brendan!). Diya and Colin ran along side me on one climb which was pretty comical, and made me look forward to that part of the course, and I love having the support of the in-laws at bike races :) It makes me feel super loved/supported, and they are proud of me no matter how well I finish!
|Pretty happy to land on the podium all things considered!|