I'm back up in Lake Sonoma for the first Ricochet race, hosted by Bike Monkey. I secured a 2nd place in the expert class, and 4th overall. The field was rather small, but really fast. The last time I raced the Ricochet I crashed pretty badly in the first mile, cracked my helmet and split apart my prescription riding glasses. Today was total redemption on that day. I've since picked up my riding skills from a year ago, and have learned to ride the rough and loose terrain around Lake Sonoma.
I was up here a couple of weekends ago for SoNoMas, where I had the same 2nd place result. I sorted out my shifting problems from last weekend's race at the Tamarancho Dirt Classic, and dialed in my bike for the 16 mile race. The course was a series of loose over hardpack, rocky and rutted trails. A true mountain biker's course. The pros and experts did 4 laps, climbing 3280' in 90º heat. I pre-hydrated well through out the week prior and didn't have a problem with cramping like I was anticipating. I was running GU Brew in my single bottle, my prize from SoNoMas, and actually liked it a lot, compared to the OSMO I've been using.
The start was on a long stretch of paved road before dipping down into some fast and loose single track. I managed my speed to make sure I didn't overcook the corners or get too twitchy with my handling. There were a few steep dips/run-ups that gave me some trouble in the first couple of laps. That's the thing with the trails out here, you have to be on 100%. There were only a few sections of fire road before you were back onto single track.
I held a 5th place position for the first lap and moved up to 3rd by the second lap. I gave up my spot halfway through the lap and held on to 4th overall for the remainder of the race. I almost got caught towards the end, and put the hammer down on the remaining climbs. I managed to put a bigger gap between myself on the chaser and sailed up the final climb to secure my result.
Going into this race I wasn't quite sure how I was going to feel or do. I haven't been putting in a ton of time in the saddle the past month, but it's important for me to recover as much as I can, especially since I've been racing almost every weekend. My winter training has been paying off, and it's just a matter of carrying over that fitness in to each race. I've got one more XC race before I head into the Tahoe Trail 100 and Leadville later in the season.