Neutral gang colors. Yes, my jersey matches my wheels, thanks for noticing. (photo: Uri)
What went right.
ummm. The weather? Beautiful day.
What went wrong.
My course recon. I was under the impression that Willowdale was flat and this was going to be a high speed big ring race. I came to win. I had my fastest tires on (xr1/rear, knobless wonder/front) (no link for the knobless wonder, apparently it is no longer in production) and some stiff suspension settings. I mentioned before the race that my setup was the shit, and only had one weakness: pine needles. Any sort of loose ground would render my bike completely useless.
There was this one mile section of fast doubletrack that I CRUSHED. The other 95% of the race was tight corners on loose ground, and I flopped around like a, .....like a, (Thom, quick! i need a metaphor!). I was constantly over-cooking corners and dabbing on flat ground because my bike only went in straight lines. I had to shave speed for even the gentle corners, and when I tried to punch it on the way out, the back tire would spin out.
While there were no long climbs, the course certainly wasn't flat. There was a lot of "rolling" terrain, and tons of punchy little uphills. This race had more turns per lap than any other race in the history of the world. It was not a high speed big ring race.
What did I learn.
1) Lapped traffic is much easier to deal with when you are racing to minimize losses, as opposed to actually racing.
2) Traction makes biking easy and fun!
8 of 26. All things considered; a decent result in a huge field. I can't wait to race this again next year. It would have been serious fun if I had even a little bit of traction.