Monday, April 8, 2013

SERC #2--Bryson City, NC (4/6 & 4/7/13)

Since my mom told me last night on the way home from Tsali that I hadn't updated my blog since last November (yikes!), I thought maybe I should get back to it. And Tsali is a great race to pick up where I left off.

Last year I squeaked out the overall win for the SERC championship at the last race of the series in the 11-14 class after having a really consistent season of racing against some tough competition. Since then, I've grown a lot and I think I've gotten a lot stronger. So this year, I decided to challenge myself more and move up to the Junior Sport (Cat 2 Juniors 15-18) class for the series.

The first race of this series and also the GSC series, I didn't do so hot. I bonked big time on the last laps in both of them and finished 3rd. Not the way I wanted to start the new season. Then, during some routine maintenance on my bike, I found a crack on the chain stay. Thomas, the mechanic at Brick City Bicycles, double-checked and saw that it actually was a crack. He called Specialized and they replaced the frame. As it turned out, my choices were a small frame 29er Stumpy or a medium frame 26er S-Works. For me it was an easy choice. I just don't like the feel of the 29ers and a medium frame is what I really needed to be riding for a 26er anyway (because I grew so much this year). Plus, I have been drooling over the S-Works ever since my dad got his. So I got super lucky to get exactly the bike I wanted when I needed it. Thank you Thomas Deaner and Specialized!!

The race at Tsali is actually made up of 2 different events. There's a 4-mile individual time trial (ITT) on Saturday, (where bonus points are given toward the series totals) and the cross-country race on Sunday.  I have done well at Tsali the last 2 years I raced here and I was feeling good again this year. The course is fast and fun with a decent amount of climbing. The ITT went well, and I won my class and finished 23rd overall out of about 100 people (including the pros and experts). Jerry Dufour, a 15-year-old Cat 1 racer, had the second fastest overall time. He is just smoking fast!!

The cross-country race worked out really well for me also, despite the fact that I forgot my water bottle in the cooler (doh!). I got the hole shot at the start and traded places a couple of times with a kid from CycleYouth (I think his name is Kyle?). Once we started up the steeper part of the first climb, I went ahead and attacked and dropped him. Pierce, who was right behind me, tried to attack me, but ended up blowing himself up. After that, I just kind of rode away from everyone and took the win.  I was super excited! The bike felt great. I felt great and I can't wait to head out to Sea Otter in just over a week.

For my team, it was a great day too. Five of us won our classes. Roger Sutton won the 50+ Cat 2, Tim Zimmerman won the 40+ Cat 1, Dustin Zimmerman won the 15-18 Cat 3, Troy Zimmerman won the 50+ Cat 1, and then there was me, winner of the 15-18 Cat 2.