They say four’s a charm! I don’t know who they are, and I am pretty sure they don’t say it, but it was for me.
Woke up to a cold morning with light rain. Saw a few flakes falling here at the house early on, but mostly just rain. I have to admit, I did not feel like racing. Something about dealing with all the muddy stuff so far from home. But I came all this way, I was pre-registered. I really had no choice.
Got to the course and they had made a few changes. Nothing too drastic, changed some turns here, added a short stretch through some mulch a la’ Hillsboro of old, but ridable (fitting since Hillsboro was today in PDX). The rain wasn’t incredibly heavy but enough to make some of these turns slick. It also made the sand pit a mess. The stuff just stuck to the drive train. I rode about 3/4 of it and my whole drive train was just coated in sand. What a mess!
ANYWAY….It was cold as all get out at the start, 39 degrees or so. I had 37 for my number, but I am pretty sure I was higher as some folks weren’t there. Still there were supposedly 63 starters. I had a much better start today and moved up a few. We must have been lined up in a better sense of speed today as we all seemed pretty well matched. I spent most of the race going back and forth with guys, probably in the mid to upper 20’s. But come the last lap, I became a possessed man, I am not sure where it came from, but I just turned it on and started reeling in guys. The field was much less spread out which allowed me to pass 6 or 7 guys. Towards the end of the lap some guy got on my wheel and I thought “I am not letting this guy beat me at the line!” I turned myself inside out, I passed by Donald Reeb who was warming up and he really cheered and spurred me on so that by the time I hit the finish straight away I had dropped the guy behind me and I could just cruise to the finish.
I really had no idea where I was in the race. I figured I finished about the same as the past races. I saw Sean Kelsey was two ahead of me right after the finish. I caught up to him, asked how his race was. He had the opposite of mine. He had moved up to 10th, but unraveled at the end and got passed, he thought by 6 or so. That gave me the possibility of getting a top 20, and some USGP points. I was psyched, but more because I felt like I finally rode well. When I went and looked at the results after the ladies race (Georgia rode away again for a win) I was 20th! I got my 1 point! Which is good as I believe it will line me up in front of the PDX top 10 masters in 2 weeks, a place I probably lost today anyway.
In the men’s race, Todd Wells got the hole-shot, but bobbled at the first turn and took out Wicks. Johnson and Powers took the lead. Trebon spent the next two laps chasing as Johnson pulled ahead of Powers. Trebon just rolled through Powers, then Johnson and opened up a 10 second gap until he had a bike change, and it was clear his B-bike wasn’t as good for him. Johnson caught him and got a few bike lengths in one lap, but once Trebon swapped back he was right back on Johnson and then rode away in the last 2 laps, winning with a 20 second lap or so. Parbo had a good race, as did Adam McGrath. I think he took 2nd in the U23, and looked to be riding really strong. He’s such a nice guy it was great to see him have a good race.
My luck continued as I found a hose with good pressure and no line to get my bike nicely cleaned. And on my cool down ride, I found a nice “almost new” travel mug on the side of the road, it was like a prize for my point! The bike is in the case, and the wet clothes are packed in plastic bags ready for the trip back home.