What a crazy weather day. Yes the picture shows snow at Deer Valley and IT WAS 36 and SNOWING when we got there!
Thank goodness Dot still wanted to go ahead with the race, else I might have bailed.
However, by the time the race started the sun was threatening to come out. The course was in pretty good condition despite the snow and rain over the last week. It was only slightly tacky and really only a rare puddle. The turnout was actually pretty good despite the weather. I think people must of been preregistered and had no chose.
I got off to a good start that lasted maybe 20 seconds then I dropped to something like 8th. It was cold and difficult to really warm up which my legs need. I was, however, worried whether I might have enough time to catch up since the expert and pro races were shortened to 2 laps due to the weather. It seem like 75% of the climbing at DV is in the first 10 minutes and I hate it. But the nice thing after that is the rest seems all downhill. It really is a nice course. There are plenty of fast descents on single track with a few hairpin turns thrown in to give us a challenge. The last half of the course was new this year and I actually felt it was an improvement. There was a steady climb up that didn't really kill ya but made you wonder when it was going to stop. Then came the down hill which consisted of 3-4 very high banked turns that were a blast seeing how high I could take them without going over the edge. I passed Darren on the first lap going up the new section. He was always the one ahead of me with the bullseye that I'd aim for. I can't tell whether I am getting faster or he is struggling (although, he did say he was wasted as I passed him) OK so then I wondered where to go after that. I didn't see anyone in my category ahead of me nor have any idea of how far they were. I did finally catch up with a couple guys I thought started with us (there were some new faces at the start I didn't recongize). I continued on the rest of the race in a sense alone. I wasn't feeling bad but again I wasn't feeling to good either. I wasn't sure what postion I was in. I passed some riders from different divisions and was working on another about 2 miles from the end of the race when I saw on the long stretches and some turns that there was a racer closing in on me. I got nervous and just had the sense he was in my category and so I turned it on. But I had trouble passing the guy in front on the single track downhill. I tried at one point and was surprised when a big 1 1/2 foot rock came up out of the deep weeds which I had to hop at a fast downhill speed. Well if it wasn't for my 29 inch front wheel it would have been over. The 69'er ARANTIX popped over the rock smoothly and I continued on, although with a little tighter sphincter tone and I missed the pass. I finally passed just before we hit the pavement towards the finish but I sensed I had lost a lot of time because the other racer had closed the gap. As I hit the pavement I stood up and tried to sprint it up the last quarter mile but I could hear him right behind me. And as hard as he was pushing towards me I just new he was in my category. I blew up about 200 feet from the finish and as he passed my I saw the blue tag. CRAP! I lost it.......
I'm not sure where I placed since we had to take off right away so that we could make it to John and Gitta's wedding. I am hoping I was in 4th and dropped to 5th but it could be worse. I'll check the standings tomorrow.
I'll give you all one guess how Dot did..... Yup first, but her nemesis Tasha no-showed. OH and by the way I had the question again today of how muddy the ARANTIX gets in the mud. I compared the ARANTIX with Dot's specialized and her's had quite a bit more mud stuck on than mine. Mud is Not an issue.
OVER 736 miles on the ARANIX and I'm lovin it!