|Pierce, me, and John Michael|
Saturday was very hot and in the late afternoon, I competed in an individual time trial event to earn bonus points for the Georgia State Championship series. I wasn't planning on doing the whole Georgia series because of conflicting races, but just in case we made it to enough to qualify for overall awards, I did the time trial. It was great too, because I finally beat John Michael by 17 seconds!! This had me excited and looking forward to racing against him on Sunday.
Because this race was another combined US Cup/SERC/GSC race, the field was pretty big. I got out in front this time at the start (big improvement from last year's start) and I was feeling pretty good.
I ended up getting around Pierce at the finish line area and took the lead. Then I knew I just had to ride fast, make no mistakes and do a better job getting through traffic than everybody else and I would have the race won.
Unfortunately, I only got 2 out of 3 of those goals right. I was definitely riding fast and aggressive, and I was definitely getting through traffic better than everybody else. However, I also crashed several times. On the last one, I got a flat and didn't have any CO2 with me to re-inflate it. I blew a lead of at least a minute because I didn't have supplies. I was so frustrated!! Walking my bike back out of the woods and getting passed by the guys I was in front of was one of the most humiliating feelings ever. I know mechanicals happen, but why did it have to happen when I was leading?
On the ride home, we reviewed the video footage from the race--all 25 minutes of it--(yes, that's sarcasm) to try to determine what I did wrong and what I could learn from my mistakes. After we were done talking about it, my dad started playing an interview that a friend of ours, pro rider Drew Edsall, had done at the Transylvania Epic this weekend. Some of his answers really seemed helpful in my case. Here's what we came up with: 1) Protect the bike, 2) Protect the lead, 3) Be prepared. Thanks Drew (and Dad)!!
Next weekend, my dad and I are taking a guys only road trip to Birmingham, Alabama for Bump 'N' Grind. I can't wait! It will be my first Cat 2 race and I'm looking forward to being able to compete against some new and different riders. I'm not so sure I'm looking forward to riding Blood Rock though, but I guess I'll see when we get there.