I decided this week to try a different approach to getting out to the race, mostly just because I didn’t want to ride back to the metro after the race this week. I still took the metro out though just to West Falls Church where I got a Flexcar (Subaru Imprezza Wagon which was pretty sweet) and hopped down 495 a couple of exits to the park. All in all a pretty easy option and the air conditioning on the way to the race was a nice break from the days heat and humidity.
I had some high hopes and expectations for myself after last week and learned a good lesson here in my second race. The start is oh so important in mountain biking for the finish. Especially in a short two loop race. I ended up lined up in maybe the back of the front third, definitely somewhere mid-pack about four or five rows back. This changed everything for the beginning sprint and entry into the single track since in the climbing sprint you can only go as fast as the guy in front of you and it’s hard to pass too many people in such a mass sprint. This week we had 49 starters on the results!
Once I fell in line I think I rode a solid race and this time I was able to focus more on the upcoming trail and remembered all my trouble spots. My lap times from last week with the first lap right at about 21 minutes and the second closer to 20 and had no crashes/falls and only a couple of foot downs due to rider block ups. I tried hard to pass folks when I could and managed to make up a few spots along the way with highlight of my efforts being rewarded with a huge thorn bush to my whole left side that almost threw me off my bike. Not sure it was really worth it but in that section I passed about 5 or 6 riders.
The posted results have me in 6th place which I’m very happy with as my main goal was to break the top ten, though I did hope I could break into the top five. None the less I had a great time and can’t wait for the next race on the 11th!