• Race Report: MSC #4 Crested Butte XC

    MSC Crested ButteOn Friday I made the trip down to Crested Butte, CO to get in a good effort through a training race on Saturday. The race was the Wildflower Rush...stop #4 on the Mountain States Cup Series. As you can see, the venue did not disappoint!

    MSC Crested ButteAfter I got the Ergon tent set up and my home-away-from-home established, I set out on the course for a super duper easy spin. The course starts off instantly with about 10 minutes of vertical by the way of fireroads and some washed out singletrack. Wasn't long an I was over the venue.

    MSC Crested Butte
    Fireroad climb then led to singletrack in the assssssssssspens.

    MSC Crested Butte
    Followed by more singletrack that weaved through more aspen trees.

    MSC Crested Butte
    Followed by more climbing....and others riders/racers checking out the course. You can see in the photo how much snow removal Crested Butte Mnt Resort had to do to get the course ready. Their weeks of hard work left us racers with a dry and dusty course. It was insane!

    MSC Crested ButteIt's easy to push hard with views like this at about mile 5 of the 10 mile lap.

    MSC Crested ButteCourse levels out a bit...but then gets a tad rocky. Added another fun element to the already perfect course. Just below this was an open uphill section...as seen in the video below.

    MSC Crested ButteThis is the final view before a huge descent to the finish. This also happens to be part of the DH course for the weekend. It was a cool drop in....lots of rocks, roots, and dust. All that made the perfect line hard to see.

    Race day came for me at 6 AM for the 9 AM start. Ate breakfast....did the pre-race warm up routine....then headed to the start line. I knew what I needed to do to make this training race a success for me....ride my pace. The gun went off and the 37 rider deep Semi-pro field took off. I knew the opening climb was looooong...so I played it easy. The field stuck together...but a few guys jumped. Sure enough the field strung out. About 1/2 up the opening climb...10 guys started going backwards. Sure enough..I moved up to around 15th place. I kept the pace conservative for the rest of the lap...catching people...and gaining ground. We soon found ourselves on the final descent to the first lap. It was a bummer, cause the guy in front of me lost his line and went down...causing me to have to dismount and run. Sure enough...5 guys caught back up, cause I was running..and they were riding. The descent was steep enough that getting back on mid-descent was impossible....so I ran...and ran...and ran. By the time I got back on the bike...like 10 guys came by me. It sucked! I put it into cruise control and finished the lap.

    Since I had no pit support, I stopped at the feed zone for 3 seconds and grabbed my bottles I laid out before the race began. I then took off on lap 2. I made up a few places on the opening climb...but that was about it since riders were getting spread out. My lap was smooth and strong, and I was happy with my energy levels. I made it through lap 2 without being caught by other riders.

    Lap 3 was the final 10 mile lap. It went by as did lap 1 and 2. Only bummer was I had to slow down in some of the singletrack sections due to lapping some of the female Jr. expert riders. This almost allowed a couple riders to catch me...but I was able to get past those female riders on one of the downhills before the finish line.

    Crested Butte MSC xc race fileHere is the final result. Three 10 mile laps in 2 hours and 46 minutes. Good enough for 23rd overall. Granted the final placing isn't that great....but it shows that things are on track for July 4th in Breckenridge. I felt super the entire race...and felt like I was good for another 2 laps if they were needed. More photos here.

    Sunday is a 6 hr training session at 10,000 ft.