As a part of the Lifetime Grandprix racing series, this race attracted the best racers of America to our state. What an opportunity for me to see "where I am at".
To a race there is a good amount of luck and other variables. Not always does one have a good day or circumstances show up surprisingly.
As many of the women racing described, this course was a bit chaotic since we were a big group sticking together for a long time, and muddy sections made it a make it or lose it game if any mistakes were made.
In my case I was feeling mostly like I feel before every race, a bit tired, a bit "lazy".
We made it a little trip to a cabin with the family (Nathan, Nathan's mum and our three boys, 9,11,13). We arrived two days earlier to enjoy the area with the kids, get settled and also pre-ride parts of the course.
In the morning of the race I was more occupied with the kid's needs, that kept me distracted and I guess less nervous.
After a quick warm-up I lined up at the very end and the start is a gras uphill.
It was my first experience in a race like this so I wanted to feel out the pack and race style and not waste randomly efforts.
I kept quiet in the pack, conserving a lot of energy. I felt like I was barely working since the climbs were very steep and punchy but also very short. I think for a first experience it was good to feel it all out and get to know each of the riders, wheels to follow, wheels to avoid.
I decided to keep saving energy until the decisive climb, the "FIRETOWER" about 3mins. long. For that I really wanted to enter it first since I knew that some might slip and unclip and it was the most important moment to split the big group. So I made some effort to move to the front just in time. At the end of the climb I got passed by two riders and couldn't hang on by just a bit**, ending up in a chasing group until the end of the race. That's when things ramped up and the pace got higher and higher with zero tolerance for mistakes. Gladly I made it to the final meters where it was an open field with a sprint to the finish for 3-9th places. I was in a good position and able to grab 4th place which I was really happy with.
** Here my excuses :) /explanation why I think I couldn't hang on. I was on the limit just turning the pedals because the climb was so steep. My bike is not the lightest (about 11kg) neither am I focusing on being super light anymore since I had huge health problems with that. I didnt expect two girls to stay away with a strong pack chasing but the slippery downhills didnt make it easy for me to get more speed. Def. technical skills I need to get more comfortable with.
I AM HAPPY with how it all turned out and for the opportunity pretty well used to show up out of nowhere as a unknown name but representing Wisconsin as the 2023 State Champion.
It was a good wrapup for my first mountainbike season. I don't plan on racing much more mountainbike and would rather try out more XCM style, Gravel and Road.
Hope you enjoyed my race report, let me know what you think.
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