Winter Park – Colorado Epic XC

01Aug12

The 5th stop on the local Winter Park series race was set to be a good one. After some good, consistent racing lately, I was feeling strong and confident to make the podium for this race. That said, I knew it would be a tough start. The race went straight up for 1000+ feet for the first 5 miles and the top was extraordinarily steep and rocky, so I knew I was going to have to hurt to stay in the hunt. All was going according to plan. As we hit the end of the first climb, I was sitting in 4th overall and still riding within myself, although it was VERY tough to go that deep at 10,000 feet. The top 2 were out of my sight, but I was still in the hunt and I knew with the hardest part over, I could really turn it on for the remainder of the race.

As I hit the 17-18 mile mark, I was flying. I decided to drill it up the climb knowing that now was my time to get into the top 3. As I went through a rather sketchy and rocky section, I came out of it feeling my rear tire going a little soft. I thought I had punctured, but my sealant had taken care of the hole and I just needed to hit the tire with some air. I stopped and did so, but heard air leaking from my sidewall. Turns out I had ripped it on something, so I popped the wheel out and changed it. By this point, I’d lost 5 minutes and was probably down to 5th or 6th place, I got back on and started to pedal like crazy. Turns out, my front was also going flat. I knew I was screwed at this point and any hopes for the podium were over. A teammate from my road team threw me a tube and I fixed the front. I proceeded to ride the rest of the last climb. About a half mile into the final 4-5 mile decent, I pinch flatted the front. THIRD FLAT! I had to walk, downhill for 4 miles for over an hour. It sucked! I ended up dead last after my amazing day turned on me. What a bummer!

It was simultaneously a great day and a bad day. I pushed through the pain and did what it took to make the lead group on a course that didn’t particularly favor me and I was feeling really good in the process. It’s probably the best I’ve felt since last cross season. At the same time, I ran tires that were WAY too light for the rocky course and it ruined my shot at the podium.

Hopefully, I’ll have better luck next time!

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One Response to “Winter Park – Colorado Epic XC”

  1. 1 Susan Riley

    What a wildly unlucky turn of events. But so glad you felt good – I’m sure you would have made the podium if you could have stayed on the bike!


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