Wednesday, September 14, 2011

FSC #1 2011 - Tallahassee Race Report & Photos


FSC #1 is Here!
Eric here with our race report for FSC #1. After the long summer break Florida State Series is back for 2011. Everyone's had their time to train and participate in the off-season training races, so now it's time to line up and see who worked hard and who needed to work harder. (Guess where I wound up??)

Julio and I made the trip to Tallahassee and were really looking forward to it. Last year was my first visit after a long summer recovering from my broken ankle, and promptly ended 3 minutes into the race with a torn rear tire. So I figured the course OWED ME! Saturday was the fun/recon/Time Trail day, pre-riding the course and catching up with fellow racers we hadn't seen for awhile and then lining up at the end of the day for a Time Trial. After spending the Summer racing around South Florida, I forgot how many racers we see from the whole state. It was great seeing everyone. Julio skipped the TT, so it was up to me to represent the team. I didn't want to burn my legs out so I started pretty fast, but backed off a bit when the going got tough. Just used the TT to get to know the course. I wound up 17th in the big XC3 30+ class.

XC3 30+ Start
Sunday rolled around and conditions were perfect. Starting temps must have been in the low 80s and the trail was in perfect condition during our warm up. 34 Racers lined up for our class and off we went. I promptly butchered the launch and took forever to get clipped in and wound up way back right away. Julio managed better and wound up in the Top 10 going into the first trail. Undulating is an accurate way to describe the course as you're constantly climbing or going down. Nothing too steep in either direction, but enough to separate the racers according to their strengths (This would come to play later for me) Since I was already 20+ riders back I knew I wasn't going to gain any ground early. I followed the quick pace and passed when I could but wouldn't force anything. I'm not the best climber so I couldn't be as aggressive on the climbs, but still managed to gain a few spots.

I thought to myself at least Julio is doing well, and then I saw him fixing his bike on the side of the trail....Not good. Turns out he took a minor spill on a sandy turn and dropped his chain. By the time he got rolling he was behind me and a long way from 6th where he was. Despite the setback, Julio fought back and picked off riders quickly and came through lap 1 in 14th. The descents and technical sections suited me, but the climbing was a weak spot. I decided I'd back off a bit on the climbs and not waste unnecessary energy. My strategy worked out as my new good racing friends Pablo Valdeviso, Kirk Ivy and I went at it for pretty much the entire race. They'd catch me on the climbs, and I'd try to pass them as they recovered going back into the trails. Back and forth we went until the final major climb after the Kudzilla section where sure enough Kirk passed me then I jumped around him going back into the trail as hard as I could. I'd manage to hold them off through the end for 18th. Julio had a quiet solo lap and finished 14th on the day.12th-20th were within about a minute of each other, so a better start might have given me a better result.  Not the results we wanted, but at least it was a fun tactical race for me.

Ryan Woodall:
Fastest Mustache in the South
The pro's lined up and were flying at the start. I managed to catch a view of eventual race winner Ryan Woodall putting down an attack that got him the gap he needed for the victory. Watching the fast guys in action is always interesting, but when you can catch a defining attack it's pretty impressive to see how it all goes down.

Enjoy some pics from the Yellow Wave below. Feel free to keep any you find of yourself. Thanks for following us. Our next stop will be in Gainesville for FSC #3. See you all then!


2 comments:

  1. Eric,

    Nice write up, it was a great course and a good race. I think we had a little back and forth on Cadillac on that last lap, I finished in 17th. Good racing with you and I will see you at the next race.

    Jesse

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  2. Thanks man. Yeah that was pretty fun. I got by you I think when you got stuck on some roots, but you got by my pretty quick. Closed up on you a couple more times but never close enough to challenge. That's why I didn't mention you in the write up.. lol. See you in Gainesville!

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