I got a solid 3rd place at the final Lake Sonoma Ricochet race as well as the series overall win today! I put in my fastest times today by two minutes on the 18 mile course. I felt really good, and think I could have pushed myself even more, but the series title was on the line, and I didn't want to jeopardize that. My friend Justin took the win today, and another Justin, who I've ridden with before got 2nd. I was off their pace by a minute or so.
As for the series win I was battling it out with another guy who has shown up at all three races, grabbing some good results. I knew if I could stay ahead of him I'd have the series win in the bag. On the first lap I throttled up the climbs to make sure I had a good buffer, passing a few other expert racers in the process. I saw 1st and 2nd place and made them my targets for the remaining 3 laps. I caught 2nd at the top of the big climb, but decided to back off on the downhill. I lost contact with them and raced at my own pace.
Having raced the course loop 12 times over the last three races I can confidently say I conquered the trails of Lake Sonoma. Last year I crashed pretty hard in the opening minutes of the first lap, having to pull out. I had the wrong tires and very little experience riding NorCal trails. Today was just as loose and rocky as before, but I knew how to handle my bike, allowing it to drift when needed. I was also running my new Look S-Track pedals, which felt amazingly secure and powerful. Other than that no bike issues. Everything seems to be dialed in for Leadville.
Black on black. Too much black? I'm winding down an incredible season this year, seeing much success on the shorter XC races. I've got some ways to go before I leap into the pro ranks, but I'm not too far off. My handling skills have improved significantly, as well as my top end speed when it comes to sprinting. My endurance has risen slightly, which I'll put to the test in a couple of weeks 10,200' above sea level.