Tuesday, October 4, 2011

FSC #3 2011 - Gainesville Race Report & Photos

A view down into the quarry pit
Climbing in Florida? Most people wouldn't believe it. But that's exactly what Hailes Trails bring to the FSC every year. Carved out of an old rock quarry, the course brings almost 300 feet of climbing per lap in addition to some sweet XC singletrack to racers, and is only open twice a year. The combination makes it one of the most popular courses on the schedule and was the location of the 2011 FSC Race #3. 

Julio wouldn't make this event so Alex and I (Eric G) were representing along with our honorary teammate for the weekend Eric N (Alex's nephew) who would be racing in his first FSC event! The drives to the FSC events are always an adventure and this time was no different as we managed to pack 3 racers worth of gear into a Honda Fit (Think packed like a circus clown car) Saturday would host a Team Time Trial, (Congrats on Team Pro Tech for the victory)  but without Julio we didn't have enough riders, so we pre-rode the course for a few hours and showed our noob the ropes a bit. 

Keeping away from Ivy!
Sunday arrived and conditions couldn't be more perfect. High 60's and not a cloud in the sky present at race time. The XC3 class had it's biggest field of the season so far with 41 riders at the start. Alex and I didn't line up early enough and had to start from the 2nd row but still managed decent starts and were in the mid teens into the first single track. I proceeded to nearly endo on the first technical drop and Alex calmly averted disaster and passed me. I'd recover and quickly gain my spot back with a hard effort in the clearing to the next section (Sorry buddy) 

Now here's the kicker. That last description was a perfect example of the kind of luck I had all race! I butchered the first major climb when I took the alternate line and was derailed by another rider and had to push up half the climb. I'd gain some spots back, and dismount again in traffic. Gain a few spots...well, you get the point!! I was feeling great but Lady Luck just wasn't on my side this day. She finally had her last laugh when I had managed to fight back into 17th with a stronger 2nd lap and some nice tactics when, I dropped my chain on the 2nd to last climb!!! I'd lose THREE spots just getting the chain un-jammed from the cranks. I was so upset about the events that had just occurred that I almost allowed another rider to pass me on the final stretch. I managed to hold him off for 20th. Considering how good I was feeling this day, I was pretty disappointed. Unfortunately for Alex his day didn't go much better and had a DNF with a major drivetrain issue on the first lap. 

Only having started riding a few months ago, Eric N had a great taste of the excitement of XC racing. In the novice class he started like a bat out of hell and was first into the trails!! Lost a couple of spots early in his lap and was in 3rd for a bit. Then faded at the end to finish 7th. Top 10 in his first race, not too shabby! 

The Pro battle for 1st
The Pro class was exciting as always. It quickly became a race for 1st between Ryan Woodall and Victor Alber as the gapped the field early and never looked back. They'd stay together until the last lap when Woodall would get away for the win. The fight for 3rd was as exciting with Martin Cox and Allison Anjos in a similar battle, with Cox sneaking away for 3rd on the last lap. 

Anytime you can get out and race it's still fun, so even though our results didn't show it, we still had a great time.  The legs were really feeling good this weekend even though things didn't go well. Hopefully FSC #4 in Alafia will be the race we put things together for some results this season. Enjoy the pics below and thanks for following along with us! See you in Tampa in 2 weeks!!

2 comments:

  1. Great job guys! I look forward to seeing you at Alafia, my home course.

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  2. Thanks! See you there. Come say hi at our tent!

    ReplyDelete