Today was the 2009 Chile Challenge Short Track. And it was a blast! Kat chose not to race (to stay fresh for the Cross Country tomorrow), but was there, along with quite a few friends of mine, to cheer me on. Coming from Taos, Angel Fire is the closest thing to a home-town course that I have. It was my first ever mountain bike race (7 or so years ago) and I've raced there almost every year since (sometimes more than once).
Today was a great day for me. After coming back from my hand injury and having a good weekend at Santa Fe, I was ready to test myself against the bigger Mountain States Cup (MSC) fields.
The race started off pretty fast, but I was able to get into a decent position (7th or so) despite my not-so-great start position (2nd row, of 3, right in the middle). From there, I moved up for a couple of laps until I was in 4th, then we dropped one racer and it was myself, Jay Henry, and Colin Cares alone at the front. Colin led for a while, then Jay took the lead, and finally, they both slowed a bit to force me to pull. I pulled for part of a lap then took off on the uphill and put a good gap between myself and them. For the rest of the race, I worked to keep them from bridging back up and worked on making up time on the descents (so that I could make up time without working too hard). I ran 2 WTB Nano Raptors and they were great on Angel Fire's terrain (mixed firm and loose dirt, and some gravel). I was able to finish with a comfortable lead, but unfortunately, no one (that I know) got any pictures of the finish, or even of the race.
So, instead, I am leaving you with a video from the day before when I was pre-riding the Cross Country course.