Sunday, May 17, 2009


Tanner and I raced in Boise to get qualified for Nationals. We both accomplished that goal. However, our races were quite different.

This post-race picture pretty much sums up my day.

This one sums up Tanners.
The course was terrible for me and my allergies were in full force so I suffered like a dog for 2 hours to finish 8th in a pretty good 40+ Expert field. Tanner on the other hand crushed the Experts and a few pros to handily win. Hence my pained look and his smile.
The race was well run and it was kind of cool race where we didn't know anyone. However, the course was just plain awful. It was 85% double track / dirt road through cow-tracked, open pastures. It had no trees, long, long, steep climbs and steep short descents where you just tried to not crash. It was kind of like the "wall" on the Shoreline between Dry Creek and Bobsled, but for 23 miles. I'm not sure you could design a course that would be worse for my skill set. The only way to make it worse would be to race in 95 degree heat. Oh wait, the Knobbie Tire series final is on the same course in August so they've got that covered.
Enough complaining. On to the good stuff. The race was a mass start. They lined up the Pros on the front row, all Experts behind them, Sport next, then Beginners. There was some instruction then it was "riders ready, go". All 100 or so racers (looked like about 1/3 the turnout of an ICUP race) then battled up the first climb. The start was at the bottom of a paved 1/2 mile hill which turned into a 1.5 mile dirt road climb. Fortunately, the only single section of the course came at mile 5 so things were sorted out by then. Starting all together was kind of cool because you could race everyone. However, it just won't work on any of the venues we race here. The fields are too large and the single track too frequent (a good thing).
I was about mid-pack in the Experts on the first climb (I got to watch lots of guys pass me later) and could watch Tanner work his way up to the front (again, no trees on the course so you could see for miles). He quickly bridged to the leading 4 Pros and was actually on the leader's wheel over the top. He hung onto 2nd overall for most of the first hour and eventually faded a little to finish 5th overall and the top Expert. He was only 5 minutes off the winning Pro and had the winner concerned during the first climb. JoAnn overheard him say at the finish "I was worried the kid from Utah was going to kick my ass".
I said last week Tanner had to spot me 30 seconds per year difference in age. Therefore, he had to beat me by 15 minutes to actually "win". Well, he beat me by 15 and a half minutes. So much for that idea.
Tanner's quickly turning into one fast kid. Just 12 months ago, I could still beat him in ICUP events. Now I can stay with him for about 30 seconds. Up until about a week ago, I could always drop him on the downhill. Even that's gone now. While my ego is bruised a bit, I'm one proud Dad.

Tanner looking in control.

The mass start. We're in there somewhere.
Me coming out of the stream crossing, the only fun feature of the entire course.

JoAnn made the trip with us and the enjoyment factor went up a bunch. She patiently sat out in the sun and took pictures.

We looked at lots of this on the drive. That's pretty much what the race course looked like as well.

I've never picked up more bugs in my life.

I had to stop and do this every 100 miles or I couldn't see out.
While the course was less than ideal, the trip was worth it. I kind of like road-tripping and racing different events. Now we can start to plan our trip to Nationals in July.
Congrats to the Caveman for continuing the Porcupine / Specialized win streak in the 19 - 29 ICUP expert. Looked like there was a great turn out at Soldier Hollow. I think I was punished because I tried to skip out on the suffering.

1 comment:

drrna said...

Mission accomplished. Wish we could have a couple of National qualifiers in Utah.