After the morning's shenanigans it was time to attempt to refuel and race some short track. I've gushed before about how intense/awesome the Mt Snow Short Track course is, but it should be noted that I had never raced it, which is probably why it seemed so cool.
Anyway, it's completely non-technical, big ring all the way, with one loose climb that you can just get over by standing and flailing. Well, the first five times up it's easy, then you start to flail more, then you try the middle ring once and notice that you went way slower but still hurt equally, and then you go back to suffering in the big ring until the race ends.
We had a field of 20 or so Semi-pro/Experts and it went out hot. My first lap was 1:30 and that was at the back of the main group. The only people behind me were the two women and a guy who had dropped his chain.
But, since I was in contact and we were hauling, I could get my draft on. I clung to Ben C and the same Bliss junior that I raced at the Coyote Hill Short Track for a few laps (all in the 1:40 range) until the pace finally started to become reasonable. It was just like how I deal with the first lap of a cross race... try not to die for the first five minutes and then start racing.
Eventually I came around the two of them and led up the climb, and my big-ringing antics were enough to open a small gap. This was cool but unfortunately meant I was heading out into no-man's land with 18 minutes of SUPER PAIN left to go, which figured to be much less pleasant than riding with someone else.
Strangely enough I started to realize I was gaining on Stu Jensen, who dominates me in XC races, and I slowly chipped a second or two out of his lead each lap until I was on his wheel. I figured this was a sign that either I was actually having a good one, or he was having a bad one. After riding a lap together it became very apparent he wanted me to lead, so I hammered the hill again and got a huge gap, and then he promptly dropped out... so I guess that answers that question.
From there on in it was just a parade of guys lapping me as the gaps opened up. I kept on keepin' on and after 15 laps in just over 26 minutes they let me stop.
And then they announced 30 minutes until the hill climb start! Which I had stupidly preregistered for, because it seemed like a deal. I was too wasted after the short track to eat a gel, or spin, or do anything else except sit on a picnic table to prepare.
After 20 minutes of staring at my feet I started to feel ok, though, I was thinking that maybe the short track was a good warmup and maybe I'd be able to give another 10 minutes of effort to get up the hill...
Then the hill climb started, and it went like this:
I got beat by every single Sport rider.
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