Monday, April 19, 2010

2010 Sea Otter Classic Race Report

The past weekend up north was rad.  ryan and i headed up to Sea Otter early thursday morning to meet up with trevor and pre-ride the course.  the course was in great condition and pre-riding was super fun.

my race was friday afternoon and i got some good sleep thursday night.  i got up friday morning, knocked out and easy spin, ate some good food and just relaxed until it was time to head to the course.

here's the report...

a very good race for me. felt great on the starting line and ready to go... and played it smart. it's a long, hard race.

stayed in the pack on the road and just tried to be smart. i knew ty kady was the man to watch out there (been killing it all year) so i just shadowed him. he made a move right before we hit the dirt and i followed.

I was in the top 10 hitting the first climbs and then moved up a couple of spots during the climbs and held my ground before first single track. i was feeling good and racing well. i ended up trading 5th and 6th place back and forth with jason rusnak. he was riding strong and we were battling but at the same time working together trying to get up to the leaders.

by the end of lap 1 griffith worked his way back up to us and we all started the 2nd lap together in 5th-6th-7th. when we hit the climbs again i got a bit of a gap on the initial climbs and got away. i charged the fireroad downhills and maybe went the fastest i ever have on my mtb on the dirt... 42.8 mph. even though i was going for it griffith was able to close the gap to me and we hit the single track together.

for the next 30-40 minutes we battled... trying to crack each other. it was some of the hardest (and most fun) racing i have ever done. i mean we were almost 2 hours into a race and still going ballistic attacking each other... RAD!

i was sitting on griffith's wheel as we hit a flat single track section that led us to a little mud pit. he took a bad line and had to unclip and i got around him and the hammered up a single track... and got away! stoked. i kept on hammering and saw and tracked down the 3rd place guy. it was wes.. another cool guy who regularly hands me beatdowns when we race. we chatted for a second and then I went by knowing that if i wanted to hang on to 3rd i had to make a move over the next series of climbs.

i got a solid gap as i made the final right turn onto last series of fireroad climbs leading to the finish (or so i thought). I knew ty kady was leading but i had no idea who was in second. i decided to ride steady to hold onto 3rd and the rolled past a guy who immediately latched onto my wheel. I then realized he was the 2nd place guy... so i was now in 2nd with him on my wheel. i wanted to sit up and make him take the lead but I knew wes (4th place) was strong and if i let up finishing 3rd may be in jeopardy. so i kept hammering.

eventually near the end of the final climbs he came around. i was pretty blown at this point and was trying to stay on his wheel. then we hit the final "new" section which i had never seen/ridden before. it was rough. freshly cut, super rough single track and grass with some super steep climbs. at one point is miss-shifted and dropped my chain and 2nd place got a way. i got the chain back on and hammered to the finish... super stoked to have finished 3rd in what is the hardest mountain bike race I have ever done.

i have done races longer and super hard 1.5-2hr XC races, but i have never worked that hard for so long.... it felt great.

i really love racing my bike and giving it EVERYTHING i have. i crossed the finish line completely shelled, shivering, and STOKED!

here's the results.

up next... the Whiskey 50 next saturday.  my race at sea otter has me really looking forwad to it. 

here are some random photos from the weekend.
post race feast prepared by trevors awesome grandmother.  sukiyaki!
pre-ride crew
pre-ride view.  i love it up there.

richard at the fluid tent.  go get some.  it works!
satruday recovery ride.  we hit some fun single track and spun out the legs.
post ride celebratory IPA.  Ranger.


thelionbeach said...

great stuff! congrats!

Jeff said...

Great work, great read. Trevor's Grandmother needs a logo on the site.

IAN said...

NICE F-ING WORK!! Made my lungs burn just reading it man. Good on ya.


P.S. my word verification "Promen"
A sign of things to come? I think yes

Mark T. Racer said...

nice racing doood!! major congrats! atta way to stay focused and sharp. your tactics paid off!!

when you coming up for a weekend to ride downieville?? sum of best riding in cali..

Mark T. Racer said...

nice racing doood!! major congrats! atta way to stay focused and sharp. your tactics paid off!!

when you coming up for a weekend to ride downieville?? sum of best riding in cali..

Dave said...

Congrats! Always look forward to readin' your blog! Good luck in your races!

Jason Rusnak said...

Killer performance man! I don't know how you kept that pace going the whole time. Thanks for sharing your story and can't wait for the next Sea Otter Classic.

Ryan Denner said...

dude, I was getting excited reading this! nice work out there bro.

runninggunner said...

Killer Job. Definitely deserved the IPA.

Charisa said...

AWESOME race! HUGE CONGRATS!!! Sounds like it was super hard and very fun - the only way to race :)

allison said...

Awesome job.

GZ said...

I recall reading a race write up with Rickey Gates after he went head to head with Paul Low at Cranmore. They both kept surging on each other. He described it like a boxing match where they were both taking slugs at each other. They both laid in a heap post the race. Sounds like you had some of that here.

Slater Fletcher said...

Way to go Ranger! The Whiskey is YOUR race. Go get it!

Anonymous said...

Well said James! My race with you at Sea Otter was one of the most epic battles I've ever had with another racer... I loved it! We must of swapped places around 20 times throughout the race; this made the long race so exciting and fun for me - so thanks.

James I've decided without exception you are my "favorite nemesis." ha ha :] can't wait for another shot at the title.