TBF MTB Classic Race Report
By: Tofor Lewis
I have always loved racing the TBF MTB series. They are some of my first mountain bike races of the season and are a perfect guide to show how my training is going so far and what I need to improve on or focus more on. Also, who doesn’t enjoy going out and ripping granite bay with some of the fastest guys around? Well, it was safe to say I went into this first TBF race without really knowing what to expect out of myself. I have been training really hard and diligently for the past 3-4 months but with goals of doing well much later in the season, so this race was just a test on my body. Like normal I rolled into the Granite Bay parking lot much later than I was expecting and began rushing to throw my new Folsom Bike kit on (which looks SICK) and hop on my bike for a quick warm-up. After spinning around for a whopping 10 min I worked my way to the starting line and settled into the pack, my race would go off in 3 min. As I glanced around at the field of riders I was slightly surprised that none of the local rippers showed up. I didn’t have to worry about Ronanimal (Ron Schevock) or the human highlighter (Clint Claasen) that normally show up to rip my legs off. I still had no idea what kind of shape these riders were in and decided I would just kind of sit in for a while and get a feel for the group. The race started and like normal a couple of my high school teammates took off at a crazy pace. Not wanting to immediately destroy myself I grabbed a wheel and sat in around 4th place. I slowly moved up into the second position by the time we reached the first climb up to park bench. I took a quick look over my shoulder and was surprised to see the bright orange helmet and kit of Jason Perez. I wasn’t sure how I missed him at the start because he has always been one of the guys that battles with me at most local races. As we climbed the hill up to the bench I could tell that the pace was slowing down. I took another look over my shoulder and saw the group splitting apart. At that moment I made a conscious decision to go for it. Right before the downhill rock garden I slipped in front of the leader and ripped down the hill. I glanced back at the bottom and saw that I had opened up a slight gap. With eyes narrowed on the trail ahead I took off. The whole race I felt very strong and just kept pushing forward and increasing the time gap. Although I wasn’t necessarily battling it out with anyone, this was one of the toughest races I have done. It started raining on the second lap and turned into the sloppiest mud fest I have ever ridden in. People were literally scattered across the course either with broken down bikes or just face planted in the mud trying to find the will power to pick themselves up and finish. Despite the terrible conditions my new Trek Superfly worked flawlessly which I was super impressed with. Covered head to toe with mud I finished the race with an 8 min gap on second place (Jason). It was safe to say that my training was beginning make a huge difference. It took me two days to finish picking dirt out of my ears, eyes, and hair but despite the rough conditions I am very happy with my results and am beyond excited to get this season underway.