Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Spa City Race Report

This past weekend I race in the Spa City Extreme, a 6 Hour Solo MTB race in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Since Michigan trails are still unrideable, the race was a great opportunity to get some trail time, and collect points (Spa City was the third race in the USAC Ultra Endurance Series). 

I didn't have to look far to know that the field was going to be competitive, since I was sharing a house with Rebecca Rusch, two-time 24 hour World Champion. At the start line the promoter called off the different States being represented, and it was good to see many endurance athletes ready to duke it out so early in the season. 

We started out with a typical Lemans start, and ran around an unfinished BMX track. Even though the run was only a few minutes it seemed to last forever. I was happy to finally hop on my bike, and entered the single-track in 3rd place behind Rebecca Rusch (Specialized/Red Bull) and Anna Jean Dallaire (Sobe/Cannondale). 

Waiting for the always feels weird to line up without a bike!

The 10-mile course was a great combination of tight single-track, a few water crossings, and short switchback climbs. My tires (Kenda Karmas) handled the washed out corners perfectly, and I always had a lot of traction. 

6 Hour races are shorter then most of the races that I do, and I tried to keep my pace as fast as possible throughout the day. As I headed out for my last lap, my mechanic informed me that I had gained time on second place and that she was only 2 minutes ahead of me. I knew that I would have to lay it all on the line if I wanted to catch her. 

I don't remember much about the last lap except powering up every single climb as fast I could. It's funny how a course changes throughout a long race. I thought that the course was relatively flat when I started out. 5 hours later, the course seemed like it was all uphill. 

With only 2 miles to go I caught second place! She was halfway up a climb and I think I passed her before she reached the top. After that I just lowered my head and did a time trial to the finish line. After almost 6 hours of racing I ended up taking second place by a minute.

Podium pic
Here we are with the top guy finishers posing for pictures
Thanks for everyone's support. It's going to be a great season!!!

Posted by Danielle

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tomac Type-X's Read to Rock!

I came home from vacation last week to an office full of bike boxes direct from the factory. These are hot from the molds Tomac Type-X hard tails that the team will be racing this season. I loaded each box with Thomson posts and stems, our Shimano drive train parts and sent one to each athlete. Heather Holmes has hers built up and ready to ride during her 2 week field experiment trip to Mexico. Colin plans on riding his during spring break in Boulder. Kathy Sherwin called very excited just looking at it! Andy will most likely initiate his at a local race just after the last bolt it tightened...Thanks to Joel at Tomac for making this happen so quickly!

Danielle Musto 2nd at USAC Ultra

Danielle Musto took 2nd place at the Spa City Ultra this past weekend. She is tied for 2nd place in the series after 3 events. Look for an update from Danielle shortly.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Kenda Cup West Race 1- Bonelli Park

There are usually only one or two races that I'm more nervous before than the first race of the year. The first race is always tough because I don't really know where I stand fitness-wise. I've been training hard all winter but I always have a nagging little voice in the back of my head asking me questions like "Are you sure you've done enough intervals?" or "Shouldn't you be a couple of pounds lighter than you are?" or "Are you sure you want to put yourself through all that suffering?"

We'll I had to deal with that little voice last weekend. I made the drive from Tucson to San Dimas (middle of L.A.) with my girlfriend. While I toed-the-line with a less star-studded field than I will be for the U.S. Pro XC Tour, there was still plenty of competition. I did my best to ignore that little voice until the gun went off and then I forgot about him completely. The race went well. I was happy to set a comfortable tempo on the front of the field and whittle the field down to four riders. I ran into trouble though when both Sid Taberlay and Sam Jurekovic attacked me. I tried to respond and would accelerate for 10 seconds or so and then fall back into the same pace I had been keeping all race. I guess I'm just lacking any high-end speed. But that's alright for now. It's still really early. So, long story short, I crossed the finishline in third.

I would like to extend a big thank you to Jim Wannamaker. Jim threw the weight of Kenda behind the Kenda Cup Race Series and helped keep cross country racing alive in the U.S. He was also a huge help to me at this race.

L.A. Isn't it beautiful?

The Kenda Cup Scene

The Podium