Photo from Velonews.com
Wow, I am really tired. I am still coughing up a lot of dust. I finally had a good Southern California race. The course here is really cool, pretty difficult though. They changed the it a lot from the previous years. Last year’s course was predominantly flat with some steep little pitches here and there, but this years course had some hill to it. In the first kilometer of the track, there was a climb that was really freaking steep and loose. It was an awesome change, It was nice to have some split in the race, but it also sucked a lot. You really had to save some gas for that climb every lap. I have never ridden something so steep and so challenging so many times, while going as fast as I can.
Like normal, I got a terrible start position, I really don’t understand how I keep getting these terrible start places. I even had UCI points from the previous year, and a top 30 overall ranking in the now defunct NMBS series from last year. Oh well, It worked out okay, although I am curious how I would have done had I gotten a place a little closer to the front. Any ways, I started right behind Trevor around 80th, we took the outside lines and they worked out pretty well. It was a crazy mad dash with over 120 guys starting in the Pro race, and it held together pretty well until that steep as hell climb called “the elevator”. There is where things got really crazy. I had to jump off and start running the climb, then someone swung there leg off and hit me right on the upper lip really hard with there shoe. I honestly thought I broke or chipped a tooth for over the first half of the race. With there being so many people behind me, I really didn’t have the option to stop or slow down. Then, finally after going through the technical downhill sections we met back up with the paved road and I could make up some places. As the race went then I got tangled with some other dude who kicked my front derailleur over and it was rubbing my chain the whole rest of the race. Quick note, there are a lot of Semi Pro’s who are racing pro and really shouldn’t be. I don’t necessarily mean fitness wise, but etiquette and also just how to race with the pro’s. Just my two cents. Any ways, I was really worried I was going to break a chain or something, but it held together really well. I made it through all 5 laps, feeling better and better as the race went on and got 53rd, passing over 30-40 guys from that climb.
It was a great feeling to come across the line knowing I had a great race. I am really hoping to build off this and have a good season. Another quick note, The new US Cup/ Pro XC tour is awesome. There were a bunch of people out there this weekend watching and cheering us on. The vibe was awesome, the scheduling was really well thought out and ran smoothly. They had awesome goody bags with free T shirts and In N Out Burger tickets. I was really impressed, I can honestly say that the future of mountain bike racing in the US is looking good.Plus the entry fee for Pro men, UCI race even, was only $45. My hat goes off to Scott Tedro and everyone at Sho-Air. Well my Ice cream is melting and Trevor’s parents have Formula One racing on so I need to go, but before I do, A huge thanks to Trevor Downing and his family, Sam Jurekovic, Bikeparts.com/Peak Cycles and everyone else who helped me get here. Thanks Again!
– Colin Osborn