I knew I had to wait until today to post a race report because the amount of soreness I felt yesterday after racing Beacon was going to be nothing compared to what I would feel today. And my body didn't let me down.
Yesterday was fast, super fast, I almost felt pro (almost). From my bike handling to my cross skills, I just felt on.
Photos courtesy of Natsha Bunten, Mike's fiancee. Thanks for the great photos!
I put in a hard week of training even after coming off the first double race weekend of the season so going into Beacon with it's long, power sections and killer runs, I was just hoping to not blow up on the first lap. Fortunately I got one of the last call-up spots in the third row and as usual set up behind Mike. Beacon is another smooth paved start, not as long or steep as Granogue but fast. At the top you make a hard right onto the wide gravel trail. Beacon has one of the most critical starts of any MAC race as the course immediately shrinks down through a sketchy hard left on loose sand/dirt. Always a log jam since eveyone for some reason wants the inside line.
I had another awesome start, even better than Wiss. My plan from the pre-ride was to take the right turn off the road on the far inside as everyone would be swinging wide from the left. It seemed as though I was the only one to take this line and it allowed me to move up and also gave me a straight shot to the outside line of the hard left where even after scrubing some speed to stay on the course I moved up a few more spots. From a third row start (20+ deep) to 6th or 7th wheel, right behind Vettori, Mayhew, Totaro, Szczepanski and one or two other guys. Chad and Adam immediately opened up a gap on the long series of sandy trails leading to the beach. Vettori and I traded spots trying to close the gap to Mayhew. Soon after Matt Ferrari went passed us, that's ok since he won the race.
Matt, kudos on the fishnets!
Lap 1 up the Ampitheater of Pain
My running really sucked today, atleast on the beach. As we hit the exit the beach on the second lap E-town passed me and I watched as fatmarc opened up a gap on the short paved section. Protection mode on. Soon after, I find myself once again with der Wunderkind (Morgan) along with Ray Ignosh. I've never ridden with Ray but I know he's fast, because he's usually ahead of me.
The three of us on the beach, MARCH!
The controlled slide, this is what the entire Beacon course is about. Speed and bike handling.
Morgan rode a smart race, like last week at Wiss I preferred to take the lead so I could get the clean lines through the turns but it also meant I had to be the one setting the pace which allowed him to sit on and rest. With one to go we finally dropped Ray who wasn't contributing too much at that point anyway but we had picked up JH3 and Rob Campbell.
Powering through the sand pit. Last year I had to run this everytime. This year I rode it all 5 laps, only dabbing once at the exit as Morgan lost momentum and I had to change my line.
On the last lap I slipped on the uphill before the ampitheater and let a gap open up to Morgan, JH3 and Rob. I closed it by the top of the run-up but my legs seized when I remounted and just couldn't stay with them before the road. I manage 18th, a hard 18th which I'm happy with.
My form is getting there, working towards peaking for one or two events over a three month season is somewhat frustrating and mentally difficult but I'm starting to see the fruits of my patience. Thanks BB!