Well before I get to CX season, I had a little mountain bike race to go to in Northern Michigan last weekend, The Iceman. Iceman is a great race with an awesome prize list and the coolest(literally) trophy out there.
The race is mostly flat, fast double track and dirt road with a touch of single track. That said it normally stays together until the final 30 second climb inside of 1 km to the finish. From there it’s CX style section to the finish through a camp ground full of racers that finished hours earlier and have been partying ever since. Being in Traverse City in early November the weather is typically cold and wet, this year just the opposite, warm, sunny, just about perfect for racing.
So the race normally stays together but last year my brother Troy managed to get clear at the midway point and out sprint JB after he bridged to him inside the final few K. This year Howie got clear on the longest climb of the race(about a minute) at the midway point and we never saw him again. We gave a good chase and Carl Decker was taking some amazing pulls but the little guy was flying and at the finish he still had a 14 second gap, amazing. We never really eased up in the chase but couldn’t bring him back. So coming into the last mile we were a group of about 10 chasing. Payson got into the single track in front of me and I moved over to let Finsty by as I was dropping anchor. That’s when things went haywire with Payson missing a turn when the single track hit a 100 foot section of fire road leading Finsty off course as well. I yelled and Finsty heard me and turned around but Payson was in front of him and kept going, cutting off a small section of the course. So Finsty went from battling for 2nd to 10th and Payson crossed the line 2nd only to find out he missed a turn and was relegated to 6th. In the last 700 meters both Decker and Matter came around me so I came across the line 5th but got 4th because of Payson inadvertently cutting the course. So basically I would have gotten 6th if everyone had gone the right way but instead I was gifted 4th.
I wasn’t looking to get 6th or 4th, I really want to win that Ice Trophy but this year it didn’t happen. On the positive side it was my first race since mid August after taking a little time off to treat a problematic hamstring and it held up great.
Race Setup: Scott Scale, Sid pressure 100 @ 100mm, Maxxis Pace front/rear 25/27. Eagle 38 chainring.
Now, it’s time to get ready for CX. This weekend Georgia Gould and I are off to Texas for a little NICA clinic. If you haven’t registered yet, it looks like it’s gonna be great weather and the venue is awesome so come on down and hang out with us.
OK, so after the clinic I will finally get to race some CX this year at the Supercross Cup in NY. I have been busy gluing up tires and trying to remember how to ride my skinny tire bike around in the park and on the trails. I’m hoping for soft conditions so my hands don’t get too beat up since it always takes a few weekends to build up enough callouses to not get giant blisters. The Scott CX bike is awesome so hopefully I can do it justice.
Until then, thanks for following along, don’t forget to vote.
I wonder what Meg and Coop are doing in NY right now…..