Yesterday was one for the books for sure. I raced in mont saint anne Quebec Canada, for my 3rd World Cup race of the year. The coarse wasn’t as technical as the first two in Albstadt and Nove Mesto, but it was still a pretty challenging race. I started in 12th in the second line so that gave me some confidence that I would have a good start. I was so determined to improve my placing compared to my past World Cup finishes at 92nd and 43rd, and I knew I would need a good start to make that happen. But once the gun went off, I was caught behind some of the guys that had some trouble on the front line which pushed me back about 15 places, but once we rounded the first corner on the concrete start lap, my adrenaline kicked in and I bolted up to the top five from about 17th place and eventually made it up into second by the end of the first lap behind a Canadian rider who dropped the hammer from the start breaking away from the field with a gap Of about a minute within a lap and a half. I raced the whole second lap in second place an I couldn’t believe how well I was doing, but I knew I was riding at a pace that was outside myself at the time so I let up a little bit dropping back into 4th behind another rider on the US national team Lucas Newcomb and a Colombian rider me an the Colombian rider battled it out for about a lap until he eventually broke at the end of the third lap. Then I rode the whole fourth lap in third every now and then catching a glimpse of a Canadian rider out of the corner of my eye going around every corner. Until eventually the Canadian caught me going up the first climb if the last loop were he tried to attack but wasn’t able to break away. Once we made it through the first technical section I attacked and put about a five second gap on him. I was able to hold the gap until the final climb of the coarse where my legs cramped terribly probably due to the fact that I missed a bottle and rode half the lap with no liquids. Anyways I made it up the climb where the Canadian caught me as I was just cresting the top but I was still able to sit in on him after his first attack, we went over the final flyover before the finish about 200 meters before the finish where he was able to throw down one last hard effort to break me just before the finish line causing me to miss the podium by only one second. Although I just missed out on the podium I was still incredibly happy with my performance. Congrats to Lucas Nick Newcomb for taking second place in the junior men’s field and to my amazing sister Shayna Powless for getting 8th place in the U23 field as a first year U23! Thank you so much to my sponsors at Giant Bikes and at Folsom Bikes for all of your support! Next stop, world champs in South Africa!
6th Cross Country
6th All Mountain (Time)
7th All Mountain (Points)
11th Cross Country
8th All Mountain (Time)
10th All Mountain (Points)
Whiz Bang, A Double Header
The weekend was filled with tough decisions, race the famed San Rafael Twilight Slugfest, or race on my mountain bike to attempt a last minute sharpening of my skills before getting my teeth kicked in the following weekend by 200 of the nations best riders in Downieville. Mountain bike it was, with any luck maybe I can knock some teeth out of some unknowing amateurs and provide a little swelling of my head coming into the rough weekend ahead…I’ll need it. To best mimic the two day Downieville weekend I decided I would be also racing Tour De Nez on Sunday for a good back to back effort.
Saturday starts with finding out my buddy and ride to the Nevada City event had massively sliced his finger the night before and would not be able to ride, much less race. Although a true supporter, drove up to get my sorry ass and haul me up to the race anyway, thanks man!! We get to the event (Nevada City Dirt Classic) which I thought would be around town? Nope, 30 or so minutes past town up Highway 20 we arrive to a small but familiar crowd. Good vibes coming in but lacking one familiar face that I was in particular looking forward to battling with. Having a quick look around on the starting line I spot my competitor for the day, Chris McGovern, owner of Real Wheels bike shop in Nevada City and former tour road pro. Having participated in plenty of elite level domestic tours and European summers…this guy has pedigree.
Hearing the announcement that this is the last of the the three race series and that the course would be run in reverse direction from normal at first meant little to nothing to me, until talks of people probably not being able to ride the “climb” in it’s entirety…hmm, wish I could have pre-ridden this thing, I’ll have to haul my keyster up this thing 4 times and I have no idea where I am going or what it’s like.
Bang! we’re off, like a track racing legend I was already clipped in and trackstanding on the line and grabbed the holeshot onto the trail, obviously displaying my huge power output and slinging dry loamy dirt all over the all ready teary eyed faces of my competition. Ripping down the decent which came immediately into the race we came into the climb, knowing about squat about it other than evidently it was a brute I just held myself wide open! A few corners up the climb I see I now have some company in McGovern…expected. Some 10 or so minutes later we crest the climb, I’m still leading and feeling HORRIBLE!!! Fortunately the trail leveled off and meandered alongside what appeared to be an old canal ditch. The trail was tight and full of unexpected twists and turns, keeping you on high alert. It was the sort of trail that flowed effortlessly fast…until! You needed to be at less than half the speed to weave through some fallen trees or what have you. A few of these events later and I have shed my roadie companion who seemed to be scratching his head wondering how his super light fancy bike was just getting it’s doors blown clean off by some random new guy in town.
Coming through the first lap I had 20 seconds on 2nd place and never looked back, having got a good feel for the flow of the loop I just kept picking up speed where I could and conserving a little more on the climb.
Continue this trend and fast forward to the last lap. I have initially thought as a complete wild guess straight out of my ass that maybe 1.5 hours would be a time to shoot for. Coming off of the climb for the last time and running some quick calculations in my head as a way to occupy my time while effortlessly flicking my Giant Anthem Advanced 29 down the tight twisty trail that perhaps 1:45.00 may be a more realistic time to shoot for. Picking up my pace as hard as I could go working my way politely and patiently through lap traffic it seemed I would be right on target. With a few last hard efforts I crossed the line right inside the 1:45.00 minute mark and proceeded to wait…and wait…just under 5 minutes I waited to see the face of my firmly defeated adversary for the day, already 1 fruit smoothie in my belly taking great satisfaction in whooping up on the local hot-shot and loving the stories about how his super light tires burped air and the super light fork was so sweet and his fancy gears may have been too much…Sorry dude…
In all seriousness, Nevada City Dirt Classic was a great venue. I only wish I would have done all three!! Next year.
Thanks for reading, Part 2 coming in a few days when I return to civilization.
Congratulations to Neilson for placing 1st in the Overall Points Triathlon division at this past weekend’s XTERRA in Snow Valley, CA!
“Awesome XTERRA race this last weekend out at snow valley ski resort. I got first place overall coming fifth out of the water then claiming first place by about 2 minutes into the bike then set the fastest bike and run split time of the day by a few minutes each.”
Congratulations to our Jared for placing 1st at the Nevada City Dirt Classic!! Way to go!