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 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 FirstPlaceRacing.com 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.