|Pre-ride team photo for Emily's first ever race. Photo: Matt Gersib|
While southeastern Nebraska finally got some much-needed rain Thursday night and Friday morning, up in the northeast, they'd only gotten a trace.
"What if it rains while we're out there," Rafal asked at the start line.
"Unless it's bad lightning, or it really becomes impossible to ride, we're going to keep going," Roxanne replied.
We started the race on dry and dusty trails, nevermind the looming storm clouds and occasional thunder. So dusty, in fact, that right after the upper road crossing on the first lap, I slid out so bad I nearly lost it in the loose stuff. Fun. fast. And through some bad luck for Anne, I'd put a bit of a gap on her, holding it steady by cranking up the climbs on my 1 x 10.
|Crazy rooted descent. Photo: Jeremy Cook|
My Colorado weekend definitely had me doing much better on the few technical sections this year. It was especially awesome to come through that section with singletrack superstar Rox watching, saying "nice" with every line I successfully picked, closing with "yep, that's it!" as I made it to the bottom.
Ok, so dry & dusty, right? Well, then it started raining. Light at first, which felt pretty good, but then it got heavier. After leading through lap 2, and then having a funny slow slog through now crazy greasy sections with Anne on lap 3, she overtook me on the long climb after the feed zone, when my need to stand on top of my gear was thwarted by my completely mud-packed and therefore tractionless tire. I was frustrated to watch her crank by in a granny gear, more frustrated because in cyclocross, I love the mud. But a thick mountain bike tire full of mud, well, that's totally different. Late in that lap, CX superstar Troy Krause came up to me, and we commiserated that point a bit. This was no muddy cx race.
|Climbing up to the road. Photo: Michael McColgan|
|Righteous descending. Photo: Michael McColgan|
|"You've got a little something on your face." All done. Photo: Jeremiah Grell|