Monday, January 29, 2007

6 Hours of El Lagarto in Lakeland, FL

All I've got to say is I'm glad I didn't go for a swim in the lake this year! It was a little too cold for that! But what started out as a windy rainy chilly day turned out to be a perfect and beautiful race day. The scenery at Loyce E. Harp Park (formerly Carter Road Park) is really some of the most beautiful tropical trails I've ever seen. It's mostly single track that runs along a lake. The Ridgeriders Mountain Bike club has done a super job building and maintaining the trails at the park.

Like all the Florida races I've been to, all the people were really nice and were out there cheering everyone on. It's really starting to feel like home here in Florida and I've met so many nice people. Going to races like this is so great because of the grassroots feeling. So many good racers out there just having fun and bringing their families.

Harvey, Eddie O, Mike, and a few others were there and they are always great competition. Ryan Woodall was there too, but he was on a team. It's always good to race him and I wish him much luck in his future cycling. He's a guy with a lot of talent and I look foward to watching his results in the national XC season this year. It would have been nice to race against some of those guys (from So Fla) that said they'd be out there but didn't show up! What happened to you??!

Terri was there with Joshua supporting me. It's so nice coming in to the feed zone to her. She recruited help from two other young ladies that did a great job! I'm sorry I forgot their names but here they are with me. Thanks ladies!!!

Ray made a good decision to run the long course. It was a good course - about 9 miles - and as the day went on, the track kept getting better and better. It was so much fun and I had good legs.

My Cannondale 6-13 Carbon Scapel was the perfect bike for this course. It handeled really well. I ran the Kenda Karma tire in the front and Klimax Lite in the back. The back was a little more narow to move quicker on the hard pack, but I came prepared with an extra wheel set up for slick mud and slippery stuff but I didn't have to use it. It is awesome to be able to count on your equipment. I'm still wrapping up a couple of agreements with my sponosors but I've got to say that all the companies I've worked with have been producing good reliable equipment and parts. I cannot thank them enough for all their support for all these years.

The race started with a 'sack start'! Last year someone stole all the sacks so they had the lemans start but this year they got some more for us. The start was hilarious - that is - until I almost fell over hopping to my bike! I rode 9 laps and had consistent lap times. I managed to leave a gap for the last few laps and Harvey was only 5 or 6 minutes behind me. As I came through the control point 5 minutes before the cut off, everyone said 'one more lap!' and I didn't want to chance it so I went out for one more. I had it in my legs and didn't even take a bottle.

This was my first win this year and it was the first time I was able to have Joshua on the podium with me and I look, forward to the rest of the season and hope he can be up there with me again soon.

Just wanted to say thanks to Ray, Ali, and all the volunteers for a great race and keep up the good work!

Get out and ride!


1 comment:

Matt said...

Congrats on the win. Nice weather too.