Sunday, July 8
With Evan's on Wednesday I didn't know how my legs would feel but it was a solid week of riding and I was excited for the weekend's Winter Park race anyway. Marni was nervous so I made sure we were ready in plenty of time and that she had good food and a good race plan in place. We got to WP and got checked in with plenty of time. I started my warm up and arrived at the base of the mountain only to find out that all the starts were pushed back 30-40 minutes. So much for the perfectly timed warm up. I hung out with Marni and some friends waiting for the starts to finally happen. By the time I went off I was definitely not warmed up so when the group jumped at the start I let the leaders go. This time it worked in my favor. I climbed strong but never blew up and rode from 11th up to 6th before hitting the singletrack for the first time. Once in the woods I could see riders ahead and worked my way toward them one at a time. Knowing the course was great and I turned the screws on each climb. By the time I hit the last time I shook 5th place for good and had 3rd and 4th in view. Once we started decending my teammate from the next class caught me and we worked together down the hill. I passed 4th before getting into lap traffic and passed third just after dumping out of the final singletrack . Unsure if I was actually the place I thought I was I sprinted hard to the line and nipped one more rider who turned out to be from a previous class.
I hung out at the line waiting for Marni to finish. I didn't get to see her start since I was racing but I couldn't wait to see her finish. She had been really nervous about racing this one after our preride but I knew she would do great if she didn't have any mechanical issues. We had even talked about and practiced being passed by faster riders on the one part of the course that overlapped. One by one friends and teammates finished up. Soon Marni and Melissa, our two beginner women, were the only ones left I course. Scott, Dan and I headed out to the end of the course to watch for them and cheer them on as they rode in. After a couple false hopes, Marni came pedalling up the course really strong! I was so happy to she her stomping the pedals because I knew that meant she was doing well and having fun. I cheered her to the finish and then we cheered in Melissa a few minutes later. We headed over to get some snacks and water which I had to get from the resort since the race people were out of water (why screw the beginners with not enough water?). Eventually we headed over to the awards area but Marni's time wasn't posted yet. Once the awards started I walked over to check the board one more time and luckily they were posted! Even better Marni got 3rd in the beginner women! I was so proud of her and we both got to have fun getting up on the podium to get our medals and glasses plus our friend Bill got third in his class as well. All and all it was a good day of racing and everyone did really well. Make sure you checkout Marni's blog for her full write up and more pictures.
A little course profile plus Mike put up some great pictures here.