Muddy conditions, a rain delayed race, and a bunch of racers ready to ride regardless? Sounds like a recipe for a sweet weekend.
By about midweek before the Saturday race, it was apparent that the weather would not cooperate. In the forecast was rain, and the inevitably sloppy trails that would follow. It rained for two days before as well as the day of the race. Showing up to the cold and wet venue in the morning was decidedly demoralizing. Despite the dampness, we went about setting up the pit and getting ready to ride. I watched both the girl's races and the weather anxiously.
During the second wave of races (freshman and sophomore boys), the weather became truly horrific. Hail and torrential rain poured down, and my race got pushed back by an hour. When my start came the weather had subsided, but the course was a muddy mess. Still, I was feeling pretty good and doing my best to suppress the nerves. Because it was my home course, I felt confident going into the race.
Right off the gun, I pinned it -- trying to get a gap on the field. I was able to get away with one other racer, Teddy Hayden. He and I were going hard off the front when I crashed on a rutted descent on the first lap. Fortunately I was able to catch up after not too much time. Teddy and I came through after lap one, and I was still feeling good, so I decided to try to make a break. I stayed a few seconds ahead of him for most of the lap, and then gained a large margin on the long climb near the end of the lap.
Going into the final lap, I had about a 45 second gap, and I settled in for a solo effort to finish the race. In the end I was able to come away with the win by a minute exactly. I'm definitely happy to come away with a win for the first time this season and hopefully I can maintain my success at Sea Otter and the final NorCal races!