Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Colorado Crew- Teva Mountain Games and

Zach's TEVA mountain games race report....
The course has lots of fire road climbs that seem like they take forever, that then lead to even steeper singletrack climbs. Then once the climbing is done there is a super rough rocky descent with tree roots all over. A classic Colorado ski resort race. I found out the morning of the race that they had changed the course a lot to make the laps shorter and cut off the top parts of the course because there was still lots of snow on top of the mountain. I drove up there in the morning with papa and really wasn't expecting much from my performance because my legs felt pretty awful, and I was at the end of a 3 week build. I ended up getting to preride a lap as my warm up, and I was liking the course. Also this race has some of the biggest cash prizes in American mountain biking in the Pro and Expert Fields so it always attracts the best riders. The race started on a long section of fire road so I wasn't super concerned about starting really fast.I had a decent start and wanted to keep up a good pace. The first lap was pretty fast and I ended up staying in the middleish of the field despite pushing myself a little bit past where I wanted. The second lap I slowed up a bit and knew that I needed to conserve some on the fire road sections to have a good 3rd lap. Despite slowing up I actually still found myself making up about 6 or 7 places, because some people just went out way too fast and blew sky high on the 2nd lap. On the fire road before the steep singletrack section of climbing I knew I needed a boost so I took one of my Honey Stinger gels. I was way more focused on nutrition this race making sure I did about half a bottle a lap and a Honey Stinger gel on the 2nd lap and the beginning of the 3rd lap.

I really felt good starting the 3rd lap, but didn't really know where I stood in the field. My friend Danny ended up catching me on the climb which really lit the competitive fire I needed to really push myself on that last lap. Danny won Cat 2 national championships last year in Granby, and is a strong climber so seeing him in front of me was good motivation, plus hes just a fun guy to race with. I ended up really making my move on the super steep section of the course. On the 3rd lap there were a lot of people walking it, and some guys were sitting in the creek on the side of the climb cooling off. I ended up attacking on the really steep section (30%+ gradient) and putting a little bit of a gap inbetween Danny and I. The technical descents on this course were good for me and I was able to make up a lot of time on them usually. I was a little worried because one of my fingers is jammed pretty bad and I couldn't bend it quite right to grip the bars, but I have the Ergon GX1 grips so they helped a lot. I finished not knowing exactly where I was, but knowing that I had at least been able to stay away from Danny. I got 25th out of 60 or so. Not a bad race for me. Knowing how stacked this field was. More importantly I was happy that I had stuck to my game plan of racing my race, and pacing myself better than I have in the past.

Matt Fox Angel Fire Race Report........

I arrived in Angel Fire pumped for some serious suffering after 6 hours of driving while listening to Lance's book "It's Not About the Bike". Got registered for cat2 xc, and started to pre-ride the course. It's a painful start, straight up the mountain, then continues to wind up the resort on fire road and single track getting steeper and more technical towards the top. It's a brutally painful climb if you go to hard from the start. The descent is AWESOME, with flowing single-track that winds down through the trees, not very technical but favors good cornering abilities, and gives the legs a good rest before the next lap.

On Saturday I watched the Pro and Cat1 race at 8am and gave a bottle feed to my buddy who was racing cat1. I had to wait till 2pm for my race. Finally it was race time. I had planed on feeling out the field on the first lap, but 5min into the race the pace slowed down to a crawl and everyone was panting around me, so I took off. I spent the rest of the race looking over my shoulder hoping no one was catching me, because i felt crappy. I ended up winning by over 17min though! I think I'm ready for Cat1, but I still need another start before they'll give it to me... I want to race cat 1 at Subaru Cup with Greg! He really wants to do some Fox soul crushing on his home turf and I think I'm ready for the challenge!! Not much to report!

Hopefully I'll have my Eriksen kit before I'm on the podium the next time!

Matt and Zach were both slacking on the pictures!!

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