A staple early season race for the Colorado Front Range has come and gone with the Battle of the Bear last weekend. 30 miles of racing around Bear Creek State Park is good for early season training; lots of flats, seated climbs and loads of passing intervals to do as there are usually around 100 riders on the 10 mile loop between all the categories.
I couldn't catch Kelli Emmit who made the move early in the race to secure first, but I made a good gap in the first quarter of our race to hold second. However, Tokyo Joe's rider, Erin Huck, made it back up by the middle of lap two. We started the final lap together and diced for position - trying to make up on our advantages and gain time on eachother. With all the riders on course, bridging gaps became tricky. I'd make up some time in the twists on the trail and Erin managed to get me on the climbs. It was just my second ride on my new carbon Felt hard tail. It took a little getting dialed, but I started to find the groove on lap two and was digging my new race rig.
The back and forth went on thru the final lap. In the last quarter of lap three, I made a push at the top of a particularly steep climb. I decided to go and see what would happen. With only a few more places to keep my advantage before the finish, I wanted to try early instead of leaving it to the last maneuver. Luckily, I made a little gap after that push and didn't look back. I finished second after a fun, but trying, game of cat and mouse.