UPDATE (2 hours after post): I will NOT be wearing the Leader Jersey next week (unlike what’s posted below). In the case of a tie in series points (like my case), the leader jersey goes to the person with the most first place wins, of which I have zero, not the person with the fastest cumulative time. No worries though.. hopefully the marathon this weekend doesn’t totally put me out of commission for Tuesday’s race.
Second Over the Hump race of the series was pretty good. The course was the same as the week before, with some repairs to a singletrack section to make it less rutted and a little wider for passing. The course was still crazy dusty (even with the water truck out spraying beforehand), and very tight with all the riders. My legs were still sore from the weekend (ride on Saturday up Blackstar to Beek’s Place and the FV Triathlon), but not unmanageably so. I was able to crank it out at the start (stayed in/near the front this time) and I think I put a good gap between myself and the girl who got first last week.
She ended up passing me on a downhill section in the first half of the first lap that I was a little sketch about, but I stayed closely behind her. I was able to pass her on a relatively flat section after a steep downhill on the second half of the first lap and picked up my speed when I got to the clearing/parking lot back to the start. I didn’t see her for the rest of the race, but I wasn’t really looking behind me. I just assumed she wasn’t to far behind, and kept pushing myself to stay in front.
I had a minor stop at the short hike-a-bike section where I was letting some faster guys pass. That was a little bit of a delay that I shouldn’t have taken because I saw another girl in my class close behind them. Once they passed, I jumped on my bike to get going before she could pass me. Then I just tried to haul through that single track section and then tried full effort to the finish. She apparently has stronger sprinting legs than me or just more energy, she passed me just before the finish line. I finished just 2 seconds behind her (had to slow down into the finish chute), in second place again.
I’m not too bummed about that because I still finished strong (second place out of 11+2 DNFs) and I dropped 1.5 minutes off last weeks time. I still got my glass and beanie and I walked away without a scratch. I’d say that’s a pretty good race. More good news: Series standings were posted last night and I’m in FIRST!! Even though I’m tied in terms of points (98), I have the fastest cumulative time of the two races, so that puts me in the Leader Jersey next week. YAY!
I found out the next day that one of the women’s expert riders was seriously injured during the race. She was taken out by some guys passing her on a gravelly down-hill section (one guy passed to closely in front of her and hit her front wheel). She ended up falling and going to the hospital with a broken elbow. That pretty much ruins her race season, which is inconvenient (to say the least). I love that the OTH series is offered and that there’s a growing number of participants. But this is supposed to be a fun race, and safety should be considered above all else.