I sure have been spending a lot of time in the Inland Empire this year. We were back at Bonelli Park this weekend for second time this year to contest round number three of the US Cup/PROXCT series. This time the event was a UCI HC level which is the same as Fontana was a few weeks ago. With the race being the week before Sea Otter there were some big names that showed up including last year’s World Champ and many other of the top riders in the World.
I chose to run the same setup as the first time we raced here this year; S-Works Epic with 95 psi front/110 rear. I also used S-Works Fast Track front and rear 24/26 psi.
The race started fast like always and I found myself sitting around top ten at the top of the first climb. The day took a turn for the worse on the first rocky descent when I punctured the front wheel. It sealed with about 5 psi and I was able to limp to the tech zone for a quick wheel change. Even a quick wheel change a few minutes into a race means I lost about 30 positions and I wound up playing catch up for the rest of the day. There is quite a lot of single track at Bonelli so when you’re moving through traffic you really have to pick your places to pass. I was only able to make it back to 13th and wound up sprinting with Kerry Werner and Jeremy Martin for 13 thru 15, I napped 14. Definitely not what I was looking for but I felt stronger then last time we raced there even if the result didn’t show it.
Sunday was the STXC and with the caliber of riders there I knew it was going to be fast. They also took out one of the 180 degree turns in the grass from the previous race so there was less recovery and a higher speed. There were attacks going the entire time of the short race and it seemed like every time the group came back together someone else attacked. With 3 laps to go Dan McConnell hit it, Trek swarmed the front and he as gone. With one lap to go I went to the front and was able to stay there until the finish and my teammate and junior World Champ Simon(aka Danish) grabbed 4th.
To give you some idea of how fast that STXC is we average over 20 mph which is super fast for the MTB. I also popped my highest HR of the year, 190 bpm which is pretty high for an old guy. It’s too bad they don’t stream that race as well because the actual racing is awesome and very exciting.
The Specialized team is hanging out in Santa Cruz for the week before heading down to Monterey for the Sea Otter Classic this weekend. The weather is great and I’ve already hit the Verve coffee shop twice today.
I hope this guy is watering the plants while I’m gone