The Nevada City Dirt Classic #2 was really fun, the course was awesome (and especially dusty) and so was the race! Not only did I win the Cat1 juniors 15-18 age group I also had my first ever Pro Cat 1 overall victory and post the fastest time on the course!
When we lined up at the start line I was anxious for the race to start because I had been listenng to the announcer talk about how the course had a half pipe descent and a technical root descent, I was ready to race. The race went great. I took the hole shot and stayed there for the 1st mile and I was third (behind 2 adults) at 4 mile mark at the start of the 1st climb only 150 ft behind. By the time we started the second lap I was in the lead with a 17 yr old junior on my wheel. Halfway into the third lap I attacked my competitor and he couldn’t respond so I raced to the finish knowing this would be my first Pro Cat 1 victory! After the race it turned out that I gained nearly 2:20 minutes on second place in less than half a lap. When the announcer called me onto the podium it felt great knowing how I did especially when the announcer noted that I had the fastest lap time of the day!
Even though it was just a local Californian’s XC MTB race, I know that this is a significant moment in my race career, one that I will always remember and one that I have often dreamed about. It’s great to know that I still feel as if I am getting much faster and becoming more in tune with my body, and my bike. I can’t wait until I’m up there with the best and win a REAL Pro race!
A few things from last weekend’s Little City’s Stage Race! My biggest learning experience was Friday’s Road Race. The first 2 miles of the course were neutralized. I learned that one big mistake was letting my competitors stay with me because I didn’t put them under stress.
In the 1st lap my 14 and under group, there was no pace, because nobody was willing to pull as they feared Jake’s abilities. One thing I should’ve done was keep the pace hard so I could have dropped anybody that shouldn’t have stayed with us. On the second lap our strategy included aggression and that worked great. We attacked numerous times so we could keep our competitors under stress. We dropped anybody who didn’t have the fitness to keep up with us. Our strategy gave me the Road Race Category U12 win, put me in the lead for the GC and placed 5th overrall in the U14.
At the Circuit race our strategy of aggression worked great! We probably would have dropped half of the field but the motorcycle official following the 17-18 Juniors neutralized our attack off the start, because we were overtaking the Junior 17-18 racers. Things went smoothly after that. Jake and I attacked the group as a team. The strategy worked, we dropped over half the group and I rode the rest of the way with two 13-14 year old juniors and crossed the finish ahead of one them in the sprint. I placed 4th overall in the Junior 13-14 and first in the Junior 11-12 category.
The criterium was an epic race. One of my goals for this race was to get 3rd overrall in Junior 13-14. Our strategy for this race was to keep working our competitors until they popped. We kept attacking them until I finally broke away with 6 laps to go. One of the 13-14 year olds tried to close the gap but he popped. After a 2 lap breakaway my brother made a tactical mistake and bridged the gap with one of his competitors. There was another of Jake’s competitors trying to catch up but we kept attacking and he finally dropped. It all came down to a sprint finish. They outsprinted me but I was happy with my 3rd place overall.
The Time Trial was very hard on the way back because it was uphill and you had to tuck down low because there were thousands of grasshoppers flying across the road. Nature’s feed zone! I placed first in my age group in the Time Trial and 1st in the GC.
I learned new strategies and tactics and I also learned if applied correctly they worked great! We had a great time doing the races and meeting friends. A big thanks to Bubba Melcher and his wife Terry for putting on this great race