Well that was a nice course and it was very good to me – just my kind of desert riding, hard packed rolly winding single track. It hasn’t rained for so long the trail was hard packed enough for Wesley to ride around on his scooter! The course was fast this year and I got to set a course record on it.
The whole family went down for this race and packing was a huge production. The drive took us 11 hours and was a bit of a production too. 11 hours is a loooong time for little people to be in their car seats.
I’d trained really well for this race and had a good taper. Race morning I was feeling awesome but also a bit too wound up. There were hundreds of bikes racked up ready for the start. You can see my blue Scalpel with the yellow bar ends squeezed in here.
Everyone else was as excited and wound up as me I think as the start was hectic, dusty and a little crazy. I’m rider #94.
It was like a Demolition Derby for a while. I earned this butt crashing along with eight other riders on the first lap shortly after the trail narrowed down from the wide jeep road. I was first on my feet and ran over everybody. Then I had a clear trail for a while which was nice before I caught the group in front. I was peeved to crash so hard on the first lap and it took me until the end of the second lap to settle down. I can’t decide whether this bruise looks like Iceland or Texas.
After my third lap my pit crew told me I had a 32 minute lead and I should slow down. They kept telling me to relax and slooow down! So I did. I went into happy cruise mode through the night. At midnight my pit crew told me I had lapped second place. Wow – cool! So from then on it was ride smooth, ride safe and eat, eat, eat.
By sunrise the reports had me two laps up on second place. I was getting a bit sleepy at 7am and needed a bit of extra motivation. Steve ran down to the timing tent while I was in the pit and came running back up screaming I was in third place in the men’s field!! That lit a new fire under me, I quite liked the idea of being in third overall :-) My 14th, 15th and 16th laps were some of my fastest in the race – and the most fun. I was out there just hauling and had the course dialed by then.
Here is me heading out on the course for my 16th and final lap. Cranked full of endorphins!
Taking the podium photo on the left with the black hat and grey shirt is Damien. Damien had a dialed in bike sitting in the pit everytime I came in. I had planned to rotate bikes every lap but switching bikes was more difficult than I had anticipated – they ride just differently enough that I would take a few minutes to get used to the bike after the swtich. During the night I didn’t want to switch and I was getting a lot of love from my Scalpel so Damien busted his butt getting it lubed, batteries changed and dialed back in while I ate and put on extra clothes. Damien was awesome – the best race mechanic I’ve had and I hope to have him on my team again for future events. At dawn I switched back onto the Epic without lights and finished the race out on that bike. As the race went on switching bikes became a harder thing to do.
Emma and Wesley love to stand on the podium with me :-)
Here is my power file from the race. I’ll post more on lap splits and power later. I’m still picking through the file myself – lots of goodies in there.