I raced this morning in Napa at the Skyline Park Mountain in the open expert class, and finished a respectable 20th place out of 40 racers, considering I snapped my rear derailleur clean off the bike. I was feeling great throughout the entire race and was within the top ten positions going into my final lap of three. I paced myself and really attacked on the second lap. The mechanical happened at the top of the last climb, and had to bum a chain tool from a fellow competitor to remove the broken mess. My chain also managed to snap a spoke on my rear wheel somewhere along the way. Thankfully it was near the top so I could coast/run the rest of the way. 4 miles in fact. Still it's no way to finish, but at least I finished and had fun doing it.
As you can see the lower arm of the derailleur got ripped out from the knuckle. I heard a creaking in my lowest gear, but it's a 2x10 drivetrain so cross-chaining shouldn't have been an issue. Either way I put too much power into it and heard a crunch sound. I also stripped/bent my rear derailleur hanger. On order is a new XO derailleur, chain and hanger. I've got to go to a shop to pick up a spare spoke, but this means I'll be off the mountain bike for most of the week. Bummer. At least I've got my road bike to keep me satisfied.
It's always disappointing to have stuff like this happen, especially when you're doing so well. At least I didn't crash or mess my bike up too much. The new tires I set up worked wonders and made all the difference in my race. There were so many crazy technical sections, full of rock drops and steep descents, yet I only felt my tires slide out a few times.
The course was really fun. Not as demanding as the SoNoMas race last weekend, but way more technical. We climbed about 3,700' over three laps. It got really hot early on, and I decided to run with bottles instead of my CamelBak. I hydrated pretty well before the race, and managed to keep cool on a single bottle.
This will be my last race for the month. Looking forward to July where there a couple I'm aiming for, and of course there's Leadville in August. All of these races I've been doing have been tune-ups for the big event.