Race Report: CDC #1 Yacolt Burn

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The CDC has a habit for putting on totally rad races, and the opener for this years season was no exception.  The course was rad, the beer was flowing, and the atmosphere was the usual relaxed vibe that these races have perfected!  First, the course.  With a total of around 4000′ of climbing, 5000 ft’ of descending, and 26 miles, this was a fairly long race.  The weather conspired to make things a little more difficult; rain set in on Friday morning and was a near constant companion for the rest of the weekend.  Relatively high humidity and temps made for difficult choices for clothes and gear.  A coat was nice, but as soon as you started pedaling you were sweating!  In the end it was all about a jersey, shorts, and keep moving to stay warm!

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The wreckage of the weekend.

The stages couldn’t have been more different.  Stage 1 was a pure fitness test.  Lets of rad little corners and flat pedals.  This was the type of stage that in the dry would have been a flowy little gem, but in the wet, with 4″ of mud everywhere it was a pedal to maintain movement everywhere.  By the end most racers were feeling it!  Stage 2 was a bit of the same and a little different.  Instead of the hills, stage 2 consisted of flat mud bogs, rock gardens, and rally.  Still a pedal monster, but a much more approachable one.  Being totally blind on this one I definitely took a few tumbles into the bushes!  After stage 2 racers got to drop into the pits and catch up on some refreshments, before setting off on a big ol’ climb up to stage 3.  From the base of the mountain we climbed 3/4 of the way to the top to drop in on Thrillium.

Wasn't expecting it to be that muddy!  Last minute fender!

Wasn’t expecting it to be that muddy! Last minute fender!

Thrillium is really the heart and soul of the Cold Creek trail system, from an outsiders point of view.  At 8 minutes or so long, it straddles the line between DH and trail riding.  One thing is for sure, if you don’t have heavy weight tires on you better be ready for a flat.  It didn’t seem to matter how anyone’s races was going, by the bottom of Thrillium there was a smile on your face!  After the jump and berm filled madness, riders loaded up for a drive up to the final stage.  Stage 4 took place on the name sake of the trail area, the Cold Creek trail.  Another long, downhill oriented run, this one packed 10 minutes of root and rock bashing muddy fun.  Coming across the finish line tired and dirty, racers were treated to a wonderful assortment of 6 different beers and BBQ.  It doesn’t get much better.

Race Diary:

My goal for this season is top 5 in the series.  The route to that goal: fitness combined with no mechanical or crashes.  I would be stretching the truth to say that this race went well for me.  My prep was good but I woke up to race day with a distinct lack of energy.  Stages 1 and 2 laid me to waste, and I was only able to recover a bit of lost ground on the more DH oriented stages 3 and 4.  Coming from an XC background, then spending most of the last 10 years in DH, this enduro thing is a bit of a change of pace.  My base fitness is there, but I know that I need more sprinting fitness and need to find the switch to remind myself “Stand and pedal everywhere til you puke.”  Its been a challenge but I’ll get there.  I ended up 15th out of 21.  A dismal 4 minutes behind a brilliant performance by Alexander McGuinnis.  Fortunately, I salvaged a few points.  Part of this racing thing is taking a lesson from your low points, and this is one of them.  The other part is looking at the positive, 9th place on Thrillium shows that I have the pace to compete.  Time to move forward and kill it next time!



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