I raced the Skyline Park XC event this morning. Things were going according to plan until my rear derailleur cable started to slip. The time lost cost me dearly, slipping from podium contention down to a respectable 8th place. I started with the pros, including Levi Leipheimer and Peter Stetina, two pro peloton jocks. I red-lined early on trying to keep up with the pros mixed in with the experts, and slowly saw the lead group get away. I wasn't about to burn all my matches then, so I settled into my own rhythm and put my head down.
The course was great, a real mountain biker's course. There was one long climb to other side of the park before turning around onto some really technical single track, featuring a few rock sections as well as drop offs. There were a couple hike-a-bike sections that gave me some trouble, but the biggest problem was slowly losing lower and lower gears in the second lap.
My cable had been giving me some problems the past few races. I had replaced it not too long ago with a synthetic light-weight cable system called Power Cordz. It's really light, however they need to fix it. I tightened the cord down, but every so often it would slip. I lost 5 minutes messing with my adjuster barrel, which was maxed out, while taking out the slack. I managed to get the full range of my gears in the back and made up some significant time towards the end.
The clouds were rolling in, and the wind was starting to pick up. A few sprinkles hit the ground right when we started our drive home. Before getting onto the freeway we stopped at a Mexican grocery store and grabbed some real authentic tacos and burritos. Great post race meal.
I'll be taking a break from racing, ramping up my training, which includes taking a proper rest before the Tahoe Trail 100 next month.