What a difference two weeks can make for weather in SoCal, from the mud and rain at Vail Lake to dry and dusty 90-degree heat at Bonelli. I raced at the US Cup Pro XCT opener, which was at Bonelli Park in San Dimas, and some true firepower showed up. From world champions to national champions to Olympians, all sorts of racers showed up for the events at the US Cup. Luckily, I got to escape some of the heat by racing at 8:30 in the morning in the CAT 1 15-16 class. On the starting line I saw some familiar faces and some unfamiliar faces, but they all looked fast.
I got a call up to the front row based on the last Kenda Cup result, and was race ready! After the small starting chute on the grass we made it to the pavement and were coming close to the first dirt climb. The pack was still together, and we stayed somewhat close on the first climb, but once the rock garden came we were definitely spread apart. My line through the rock garden got lost within the mayhem of the race, and two riders passed me. I quickly sprinted onto their wheel, passed one rider, and passed the other one when he fell into a bush on a loose off camber turn. Now I found myself with two other riders, and could see some other riders ahead. After one lap I was sitting on the wheel of one of my racing buddies, but I still wanted to beat him. The first climb of the second lap came at the perfect time, and I found myself alone. He was behind me! I kept a lead through the beginning of the lap, and I got some encouragement from various spectators as I passed them and that even pushed me harder. But then the flats came! The racer caught me on the flats in a train of some older racers, and I stuck on someone’s wheel. I started to break away from the group towards the end of the lap and stayed away with a healthy gap until the race ended.
I finished 9th out of 15 racers in a stacked class, and saw a lot of progress from last year’s results at the same venue. And to top the day off I got to watch some of the best in the world battle it out in the heat for 7 laps!
CAT 1, Men's 15-16
Kenda Cup #2
US Cup, UCI C1
March 14, 2015
San Dimas, CA