Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Colin's Race Report

After a tough weekend at Sea Otter and a week of wondering where my legs
went, I now find myself brimming with optimism after some good races at
the opening Mountain States Cup in Fruita, CO. Never have I been more
able to relate to the idea that you’re only as good as your last race.

The weekend began with a 15 minute-ish time trial, which consisted of a
hard, though technically easy climb followed by a twisty, bermed-out
descent that left everyone at the finish line with big grins. I went so
hard up the climb and was so numb with lactic acid that I had to dab and
run a section that was about as difficult as riding up a curb. Not a pro
move by any means, but I think that bobble gave me the necessary scare to
completely push myself to the finish and get the win. The day was made
even sweeter when I checked the web and saw that Andy and Amanda had won
their respective 50 and 100 mile races. I suspect they were a lot more
tired than me. Lots of water, Recoverite, and a Chipotle burrito later,
I was excited and ready for Sunday’s XC.

If I didn’t know most of the pro men personally, I at least knew who
almost everybody was, which made the race—a huge 30-mile loop of mostly
technical singletrack—feel like a fun, albeit really hard, mountain bike
ride with a bunch of friends. The first few miles of rolling jeep trail
were pretty chaotic, but before long, I found myself riding out front with
Cannondale teammates Ben Sontag and Alex Grant, my podium mates from the
day before. I lost contact with them over some rough stuff only to
re-gain it later, thanks in large part to pacing by Colorado legend Jay
Henry. Just as I was starting to get excited about my prospects, I felt
the sinking feeling (literally and figuratively) of a slow leak in my
rear-tire. The sharp rocks and high speeds had finally gotten the best
of me. My Stans mostly did its job, and I made it to the finish after a
few Big Air blasts and some tire shaking. I was a little bit bummed but
mostly happy to have re-discovered the fitness that seemed to have been
missing at Sea Otter.

I’ve always found myself motivated more by good races than by bad ones, so
I’m now looking forward to some hard chunks of training before the next
big race, which will be the Triple Crown race in Nathrop, CO.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Kenda - Felt Team has Record Day

Three states. Three races. Three victories. It was a banner weekend for the Kenda-Felt Mountain Bike Team.

Shortly after The Sea Otter Classic, which saw the Kenda-Felt Team riders meeting with sponsors, autographing cards, and racing hard, the team dispersed across the country. Amanda Carey hopped a flight to Tennessee to race in the first race in the National Endurance Series, the Cohutta 100. She knew she was riding fast after strong performances at the first two Pro XCT races of the year but this was her first long distance race of the year so she still had a little doubt about her endurance. Eight-hours, one thunderstorm, and plenty of mud later she had not only squelched that doubt but had also dominated the race, winning by over 20 minutes. She also beat the winner’s time from last year by over three minutes, this is especially notable because the course was much slower (the men’s winning time was over 45 minutes slower this year). Asked after the race what her secret was Amanda said “Having Kenda Tires as a sponsor was crucial to my success. When I saw that there was rain in the forecast and that the course may be muddy I was able to switch my tires to the perfect ones for the conditions. Those just happened to be Karma’s, one of the best mud tires out there.”

Back west Andy Schultz was racing in the Whiskey 50. It is a 50-mile race that begins and ends in downtown Prescott, AZ, next to the famed “Whiskey Row”. With long, sustained gravel road climbs making up a majority of the course his 29” wheeled Felt Nine LTD and Kenda Small Block Eight tires were the perfect choice. “With as much climbing as there is in the Whiskey 50 having a lightweight bike is key. Our sponsors have collaborated to provide the team with one of the lightest 29” bikes out there so I definitely had an advantage” Andy said. Andy ended up completing the course in just over 3 hours, 16 minutes, almost two minutes faster than the course record. “I rarely do races over 2 hours so nutrition is always a worry for me.” Fortunately I was able to talk to the experts at Hammer Nutrition who helped me design a plan that kept well hydrated, fully fueled, and cramp free.”

In Colorado Colin Cares was racing in the first Mountain States Cup events of the year in Fruita, CO. Toeing the line were some of the fastest riders in the area, who just happen to be some of the fastest riders in the country. The day’s event was a 15 minute-ish time trial. Colin charged up the course’s only climb, leaving him, in his words, “numb with lactic acid.” The effort paid off though and he finished with the fastest time of the day, winning the event.

In all, this was one of the finest days in the history of the team. More to come!