Sunday, 14 September 2008
date: 24th august
place: napa, california, usa
conditions: hot and dusty and poison oaky
representing: deano and marty
bikes dumped for the traditional le mans start and we're off. the field charges off round a horse corral and back towards the bikes. some ne'er-do-wells in orange overalls head the wrong way and appear to be trying to tackle the oncoming masses. and so it begins...
back to the bikes and we're off on a starter lap before hitting three laps of the skyline world cup race course (when WC race courses were race courses) . the field strings out on the forest (sorry, fire) road climb round the back of the hill and steadily upwards. i'm pushing long before the first singletrack. up past the bagpiper and onto a beautiful, rocky, dusty descent. i pass a few mincers and Mr Paul Components on the way down and it's on to the big climb at the start of the lap proper.
the course was a corker. virtually all singletrack, it contains a bit of everything - swoopy, dusty, buff, rocky, droppy and about an hour long. it even had a six foot tall pink fluffy rabbit with a line in angry heckling at the furthest point. "way to fail" was a particularly hurtful bit of encouragement as i stopped to re-hydrate with the Surly folks on my 2nd lap.
by the time i'd hauled my ass back round to start my 3rd lap i'd been (long) passed by the winners, so i had to shake my head when asked if i'd finished three laps and it was off to the DNF queue to collect my medal. the shame. deano dug deep for three laps and a finish. mad props.
the winners? carl decker and rachel lloyd - worthy champs. next year? durango, colorado.