Wednesday, September 28, 2011

PANDO XC!



Ah Pando. That usually means a couple of things; summer has come to an end, cyclocross is in full swing, and the mountain bike season is wrapping up.

It is always nice to be able to sleep in your own bed the night before a race, and have only a 20 min. commute to the start line. Woke up Sunday morning to overcast skies and wet earth from the overnight rain. Steve picked me up and we headed out to the venue. About a mile from Pando we noticed that everything was dry. They hadn't gotten any of the overnight rain! No early morning slippery roots! 7 Laps! Game on!

The Elite field was pretty stacked. GO! Starting up the ski hill is always painful. I crested the top sitting about 6th. Didn't want to go to hard and be cross eyed at the start, which in hindsight may have been a mistake. Back down the hill and into the two track. Pace was pretty high, but manageable. Things started to break up a little as some of the roadies would get gaped in the single track and then throw down the power on the two track. I ended up riding with E. Hillaker, J. Craven, and we picked up Jeff W. after he lost a bit of air, for a couple of laps. About lap 4 Jeff W. attacked hard through the longest bit of single track, and I went with. We were able to open up a gap, but soon after Jeff took a pretty nasty dig, and that was it for him. From then on it was a solo effort to hold off Craven who was about 30 seconds back. I climbed the ski hill for the last time and rolled through the finish line in 6th, one spot out of the money. All in all, a nice day of racing. Would have been nice to snag a podium spot, but there is always next time.

Steve put out a solid effort landing him lucky number 13 in the finishing order. We hung out for a bit, drank a few recovery beers, and called it a day.

Thanks as always to all our sponsors. My 18 lb. Niner Carbon Air 9 worked beautifully! The combo of Kenda Karma tires mounted on Stan's wheels hooked up all day long! Thanks as always to Ted Bentley and Ada Bike Shop for keeping it running through all the abuse it takes.

Lots of cyclocross racing on tap for this weekend! Hope to see you all there!

Shawn D.

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