Since I began racing years ago, I have started every event I signed up for. I'm not sure why, but I've never bailed on a race. I guess I figure if I signed up, I'm committed. I can also think of only four races I haven't finish. On two occasions, I was sick but gave the weekday crit a go only to get dropped and call it a day. At 5-mile pass years ago, I broke the linkage in my rear suspension and had to walk in and 3 years ago, I pulled out of LoToJa after 80 miles.
LoToJA was the last snow year and I was near hypothermia at Montpelier. I was having absolutely no fun by that time. We stopped and I retrieved some dry, heavy gloves from our support car. As I was getting back on my bike, I looked up at my nephew Adam and saw his thin, wet gloves. In a moment of clarity, I pulled off my dry gloves, handed them to Adam, got off my bike and called it a day. In 10 minutes, I was changed and eating a burger at Artic Circle. One of the better decisions I've ever made.
All of this is to point out I taking starting and finishing races seriously. Accordingly, it was a little strange that I spent most of the week convincing myself to: A) not start East Canyon if it was raining / snowing or B) turn around and head to back to the car if it started to get ugly during the race. I've had a cold all week and maybe that played into my thoughts. In any case, I wasn't exactly stoked to race.
The drive to the race didn't help. We rallied the Element across the muddy road from Jeremy and set up camp at East Canyon in the rain / hail.
I pretty much decided to drive a wheel car for Tanner's race when the clouds broke and it began to dry out. As it turned out, the weather during the race was fairly benign.
My race turned out better than my frame of mind. I felt OK and made it over the first climb with the lead group. With Canyon and Bountiful Mazda comprising 12 of the 16 or so in the group, it was pretty clear nothing was going to stay away. So we settled in for a parade lap out and back from Henifer. On the climb out of Henifer, it got hard, I got dropped and rode back to East Canyon with 5 other stragglers. We sprinted up the finish climb for 10th - 14th and with nothing left, I finished 13th. Probably about all I could hope for this week.
Tanner was the Cottle hero for the day. He finished 2nd in a strong Cat 4 field. He rode smart and got away with 2 others on the climb out of Henifer. The three of them worked hard to the finishing climb and Tanner just barely missed the win. He was very excited and built some road racing confidence. His time was faster than the Cat 3 winner, so they were going fast.
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