Friday, May 21, 2010


A little late with the race report seeing as I am already in Texas getting ready for the next Xterra Cup Race but here goes. Headed out to Vegas early Thursday April 22nd for the first Xterra race of the season. I was feeling really well prep’d but one never knows what is going to happen at the first tri of the season. I had a direct flight, which is rare these days and with the time change arrived in Vegas quite early in the morning. I was fortunate to have a great homestay for the race and was going to be staying in north LV with Kurt and Stacy. I totally missed seeing Kurt coming to pick me up as I was enthralled with the goings on at the airport. 8:30 in the morning and an intoxicated bachelorette party wearing what looked to be high school prom dresses were stumbling around the passenger pick up area. One had even managed to rip open her dress all the way up the back, only in Vegas. Got to the house and unpacked the bike with enough time to head out to the course for a quick loop on the bike. The course was going to be very close to the same as last year, a two loop bike and run, with the transition area thankfully moved to the parking lot of the Loews Lake Las Vegas resort instead of the middle of the desert. Kurt was going to be racing the sport race on Sunday so he decided to join me for a lap. The course, which got dubbed the moonscape last year, is held on roughly graded loose gravelly, sandy, jeep roads with a few washes and a tiny bit of singletrack thrown in for good measure. There is really only one sketchy downhill section and I quickly showed off my expect pro skills by planting my front wheel into a rocky washed out section of it and going over the handlebars. Ouch, skinned up my elbows and knees pretty badly and planted my right knee right into a rock. It instantly started to swell and stiffen up, nice. We finished up the lap without further incident and headed back to the house for some ice and first aid treatment. Friday morning I rolled out in style in Kurt and Stacy’s Audi (yes I do get the best homestays) and met up with Renata and Emma for a quick swim in Lake Mead as Lake Las Vegas was closed to pre-swimming. I then decided to just go easy and ride only the second half of the course and do a short transition run. I was still a bit shaken by the crash and wanted to take an extra day for my brain to forget the image of me crashing and also to let others pre-ride the course a bunch and hopefully work in a nice line down the hill. Thankfully they did and by Saturday morning a nice line had been packed down and pretty much cleared of the larger, chunkier stuff. A quick bike-run on Saturday, then it was just relax, get all the gear ready and get a good night’s sleep. Sunday morning was an early start. Kurt went off at 8am for the sport race and me at 8:30 for the championship race. Got to the race site with plenty of time to get everything set-up and get in a good warm-up. It was good to see everyone and catch up after six months of no racing. There was a pretty good size pro field and the swim start was a little narrow so I tried to get an outside line. Unfortunately I got boxed in a little and missed the feet of the lead group of guys, Jorden Bryden, Seth Wealing, Branden Rakita, and Craig Evans. I spent most of the swim chasing hard and finally caught them with a little time to draft before heading into T1. I got through transition relatively quickly and out onto the bike hopefully with a nice gap on the rest of the women. I was a bit disappointed when I got passed by Mel, then Shonny, in just about the exact same places as last year. Before heading to the race I had gone back and reread my race report from last years race and was determined this time to not ease up on the bike but just keep hammering away. I was riding technically really well, no troubles on the downhill, and easily over the water pipe that took more than its fair share of casualties. I held off Lesley and Renata until almost the end of the bike, much better than end of the first lap last year, and headed into T2 in fifth right on their heels. I had a good gap on sixth and knew that catching the fleet footed Lesley Patterson was probably out of my reach so I set my sights on catching Renata and fourth place. I felt nice and light on my feet and got into a nice high cadence for the two-loop run. The run was pretty much straight up, turn around, straight down, twice. I quickly caught Renata on the uphill section of the first lap then just kept the pace going all the way to the finish. Shonny used an insane bike split to catch Mel and take the win, Mel held on for second, Lesley third, myself fourth and fellow canuck Rosemarie Gerspacher taking the last spot on the podium. (yes that is, count’em, 3 CANUCKS on the podium!!!). Kurt also had a great race placing near the top of his age group. He decided to walk the sketchy downhill saying visions of me endoing stopped him for giving it a go, oops. Overall I was much happier with my race than last year, definitely better effort on my part, both mentally and physically, but also I’m closing the gap to the top girls on the bike. I just need to keep working on my technical skills and high-end power and I will get there. Post race the gang and friends headed out to this crazy Cajun restaurant where they serve you shrimp, crab, or crawdads right on the table, very messy but seriously tasty. This year I couldn’t rally for a trip down to the strip for some late night shenanigans and opted instead for an early night to bed before a long day of traveling back home. Big thanks to Kurt and Stacy for hosting me, always makes a trip easier and more fun having a home to stay at. Next up, a couple of MTB races then off to Texas (well already here actually) for the Xterra South Central Champs. Race Gallery -

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