Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Racing for the Cup

This last Sunday was 3rd edition of the Cold Catfish Cup and my second time racing. The race takes place at the fast and flowy Carver Lake trail in Woodbury. It would have been a fast race, but with the 4" of snow we got on Saturday morning and warm 35deg race day temps it all turned to mashed potatoes. On the first lap more then 100 racers set off down the hill to ride around the lake for the 1st of 3 laps. The pace was pretty easy as I sat 2nd wheel around the lake. It was mostly packed with a few slushy rutted sections that were tricky to ride, later I found out some racers in the back of the pack had to push their bikes around the lake as it got too slushy to ride. After the lake there is the one and only decent hill, and chose to go to front so I could get a good line up the climb. Once we were in the single track I just rode easy trying not to make any mistakes, I got a little gap maybe 20 seconds on a group of 5 chasers who weren't trying too hard to catch me as they thought we would ride around the lake again and group up. As I came out of the single track, I found out the lake was out and we were just heading back into the single track, this changed things, no suffering out on the lake and no climb. By the second lap the first section of single track was not ridable as the rut was deep and skinny surrounded by foot tracks. Brendan Bellew caught up and took the lead as he was on and off the bike riding and running, but mostly running the first section. Brendan was riding the tricky rutted single track really well as usual, so I just followed as we passed lapped riders. Once he did let me go to the front I was riding too slow trying not to make a mistake and we were caught by Dave, I told Brendan to go to the front and he hit it for the last mile of single track and we gaped Dave heading into the final lap. After running the first section again neither of us could get clipped into our pedals as our cleats were iced up. After some pedal kicking I was able to get clipped in again but Brendan was not. We rode together the rest of the final lap coming out of the single track and had to sprint across a parking lot to the finish line. I went on the outside but had a bad line coming into the last little weave to finish stretch. The last straight was not as smooth as the parking lot and Brendan's foot bounced off his pedal as we sprinted just long enough for me to take the win. It did make sense that we would go 1 2 as we've been riding mostly together this last month. Overall the event was great, tons of happy people, multiple bonfires, good food and good beer!

The Cup

Thanks for the photo Grant