This past weekend was the Mountain States Cup Fall Classic. The Fall Classic is supposed to highlight true mountain biking in and around Breckenridge over the weekend and that is what it did. With a 3 race stage race in 2 days we did plenty of mountain biking in Breckenridge mixing it up with the trails in town, above town, and much farther up in the mountains as well.
Overall I would say the weekend was a success to end my first professional mountain bike season. I struggled in the circuit race (the cold rain and insufficient warm up did me in), pulled it together for the Hill Climb Time Trial, and then killed it for Sunday's Epic XC race.
The XC on Sunday was the best race I have had all season, minus one thing, my epic flat. For the first time this year I think I actually rode intelligently instead of blowing myself up in the first 45 minutes of racing. By the time we reached the heinous climb up French Gulch my legs were really ticking and I just motored away from the group I was in and bridged up to Tim Allen. After jockeying back and forth all day with Tim I eventually dropped him on some tight singletrack climbing and left him behind until I hit a rock hard at the beginning of the final descent bending my rim and causing a sudden lose of tire pressure that would not seal (I am still not sure that I will be able to use these rims tubeless anymore). Tube in, tube valve stem broken, aaaargh! Ok, well cross season is coming up I guess I can go for a bit of a run, right? As a ran down the trail with bike in hand I remembered that I still had close to 5 miles of course left to get around before the finish line.... Here comes Nick Truitt. This guy is awesome, after a flat in the circuit race the day before he had to fix it and finish the remainder of 5 laps in order to get a time for the overall in the stage race. Well, he stopped, threw me his saddle bag and went on his way. Tube in, air in, off we go.... I didn't finish dead last it turns out, but man that 10th place I was in would sure have been nice.
All in all, I am happy with the race regardless of the result. I ended the season on such a high by mixing it up with guys my age that are mad fast for the first time ever. I realized that I definitely do have the power and the skill to ride in the pro field after a number of disappointing weekends. To top it all off, now I am even more motivated for Cross Season and next year! Sweet!
The Cross bike should arrive soon and I am looking forward to donning the kit of my new team Pioneer Racing. These guys are awesome and it is going to be a sweet program with some sweet teammates!