I had a pretty busy week leading up to the PROXCT Finals in VT. I spent the week over in Silverton doing long, high altitude rides to prep for Leadville and the Breck Epic. I got to do some of my favorite rides and some of the climbs I absolutely hate but make every other climb seem easy.
I was home just long enough to clean my bikes and pack for PROXCT finals, Leadvile and Breck Epic before I shot out for Denver. It is about a 6 hour drive from Durango to Denver and I made it there just in time to grab some Chiptole for dinner and check into the airport hotel. Friday morning I was out of there bound for Burlington, VT, home of Ben and Jerry’s. I made it to Catamount that evening with enough time to get a few laps of the course in before heading to the house to meet up with the team and have some Piete’s famous pre-race spaghetti bolognese.
It seemed like I had no sooner arrived then we were getting ready to race on Saturday morning. Usually we race later in the afternoon but lucky for me the men raced first on Saturday so I was able to get back to the thin air of Colorado on Saturday night. My goal for the weekend was just to finish close enough to Bishop to secure the PROXCT series title. I had been putting in a big block of training and arriving late Friday night isn’t optimal for an early Saturday race but I had enough in the tank to get the job done.
On lap 1 of 6, Ettinger, myself and a New Zealander got a gap on a 6 person chase group and things were going way better then I expected. Heading out onto the second lap I slid out in the grass field, twisted my bars and saw my hold on the overall slipping away. I quickly got things back together but not before the chase group passed me and I was stuck on the back for most of the next lap. The course was really fun but there wasn’t much passing in the woods so I didn’t get to Bishop’s wheel until the end of lap 2.
I decided after the crash instead of trying to win the race I would just focus on being smooth and not losing the overall so I stuck to Bishop like glue all the way until the finish. I worked perfectly for me having both Ettinger and Plaxton take the top two slots and most points available for the series overall. That way if I had a mechanical or a crash Bishop would need a lot more places to make up the points because they drop off quite a lot after 3rd place.
I was able to out sprint JB for 3rd and my teammate Kohei recovered from a poor start to take forth with Bishop coming in for fifth. That was enough for me to wrap up the series and I had spent less then 24 hrs in VT before I was on my way back to Colorado. I wish I could have stayed longer and checked out Burlington because from what I saw it’s an awesome town. The race was awesome too with great fans and really fun course. We had some fun jumps, some pump track style single track and just enough roots and rocks to keep things interesting. I had such a nice time and enjoyed the course so much I’m even considering going back for the CX race this fall. I would love to see them add some of those jumps from the MTB race into the CX race. If we can hit a 5 foot high, 8 foot long jump on a little XC bike in Montana, we should be able to jump a 2 foot high, 4 foot gap jump on a CX.
So I made it to Frisco just before midnight after the race and then on to Breckenridge on Sunday to hang out with rest of the Specialized team. I managed to leave my computer in VT but luckily the the team was still there before heading to MSA on Monday and I got my computer via Fedex today. Oh, and I am finally in Leadville getting ready for the race. It’s about 50 degrees and raining right now so the course is in great shape, hopefully the weather improves for the weekend.
I wonder how the new course is in MSA……