USGP – Portland – Day 2

Sun, 5 Dec 2010
Portland International Raceway • map
Photos: Nat - picasa  

Last race of the season! The exclamation point means many things: sadness that the fun has come to an end; happiness that the season has been a smashing success for both myself and our wonderful team; relief that my body will get a little reset rest; and excitement that the process now starts over, with a focus on xc mountain biking.

Now, back to the race at hand. Christian and I were again the only GSR representatives racing, and again we arrived at the breakabreaka dawn to get warmed up. Day 2, although it was windier, seemed a little easier to warm up. My body said “i know what you are doing, but i don’t like it.” So I said back “shut up body. one more time, then we can sleep in, eat pizza and drink brewski after brewski.” “Ok” it said reluctantly back to me. We spun on the trainers for a bit, trying to hide from the piercing wind. This day, the Single Speeds got to start before the B’s, and I was right up at the front of the starting line. “Tweet” the whistle blew and we were off. I took the hole-shot for the initial straightaway and first grass corner, and then let a few of the pro ss dudes go by on the first mud bog. One thing that was great about this course was that it had plenty of room to pass, and you could really settle into your race. So if there was a guy next to you after two laps, it was because you were likely very comparable racers. I got into my groove quickly, but it did hurt. I probably could’ve chosen a slightly easier gear, but oh well. It took almost two laps to feel charged up, and in the third lap I got a second wind and started to try a charge. I flew by a couple guys, hit the straightaway, looked at my chain for a second and then ended up in the tape and sticks. Huh?!? That was stupid. The two guys I had just dropped now went past and I had to do it all over again. I moved forward through the remainder of the race, and today we did 5 laps, as opposed to the 4 we did the previous day. They were slightly quicker because some of the mud had firmed up. The course was similar, but they added more twists and turns, as well as a few off camber up&downs, and the motorcross area featured a more obvious run-up, followed by a very sticky-yet-ridable descent.

My final result was 14th place. It did not feel as great as yesterday, but it still felt very good. Christian again rode a solid race in the B’s and finished 25th.
After the race we high-fived in celebration of completing the season still sitting upright and smiling, and then headed to Bumblekiss for a well deserved breakfast.
Nice job everyone! It was a fantabulous season, and now 2011 XC MTB is just around the corner.

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