On Friday we arrived in Albuquerque for the Oak Flats XC race. I was itching to pre-ride the race course! I heard there was a steep, rocky climb on our course so I wanted to see the course to prepare a strategy for my race.
After we finished our pre-ride, it rained for three hours and also rained overnight. In the morning, because it was so muddy, we knew that the strategy from our pre-ride needed to be adjusted to account for the mud. The strategy we developed yesterday was solid and we still acted on the basic parts of our strategy, like fast starts, leading on the single track and attacking on the rocky climb.
The muddy conditions caused us to add to our strategy for the race. Staying in the packed down path of the previous Cat 1 and Pro racers would help keep my bike clear of mud. Riding in the big chain ring was going to keep mud from building up on my chain and front derailleur. When necessary, riding on the grassy side of the trail would also help keep mud from clogging up my bike.
On my 2nd lap, I was treated to the experience of exactly how my new, adopted strategy paid off. Kaden Murdock and Joshua Squires, two Cat 1 Junior 15-18 year old boys had raced off the beaten down trail, with mud packed on their forks, rear triangles and derailleurs, they could hardly move. Using the modified strategy of staying on the packed down trail, my bike stayed mostly clear of mud, allowing me to blow past Kaden, Joshua and many other Cat 1 racers!
A few days after the Race, the race promoter posted the results and I was stoked when my dad told me that of the 160 racers, only one singlespeeder, one Cat 2 racer and all four of the Pro racers had beat my finish time over 3 laps! I was super stoked that the quality of my race performance was a direct result of not only my training and preparation, but also the spot on strategies that are developed by the Yackle Brothers Racing Team’s Director and members.