|Post Race ..|
Race Report – WORS #7 Sunburst Showdown
by Adam Kaplan
I chose this race to be my first in over 10 years. It took place in the Kettle Moraine area of Southeast WI and promised to be a fun course. I was convinced to enter the Cat. 2 Comp category against my better judgment by Sean Bjork, a XXX racer and friend of the shop. Geoff Scott, a fellow Spidermonkey, joined us as well. Geoff entered the Sport category.
Geoff and I arrived plenty early to get parking and a preview lap of the course. The course starts off after the prologue with a steep, twisty, forested single track climb up the ski hill. As it has been really hot and dry, the soil was very dusty. The course then winds its way up and down the ski hill with fast, bermed turns that were a lot of fun. The second half of the course wound its way back and forth a field with pine trees and was on mowed grass. This was filled with a lot of hair pin turns and was similar to a cyclocross course according to Geoff. I found the climb out of this area to be more fatiguing than the more technical climb that started us off. It was really hot. It was over 90 deg. for sure. This did play a role in everyone’s performance.
After lining up behind the Pro/Elite men and Women, the call ups began. Staging was very well organized and the two elite categories started 2 min. ahead of the rest of us. The Comp field was to complete four laps; the Pros had to do five.
When the bell went off for us, it was a mile of pure dust and jockeying for position. It wasn’t until after the first climb that I could breathe easy and try to settle in. First lap went great. Second lap I pushed a bit harder and was very thankful that Geoff organized hand ups of full water bottles. Third lap, I realized that I taxed myself a bit and started to get bad cramping in both hamstrings. I could have used some electrolytes to drink, but only had water. I rode within myself here, holding a solid mid pack position. I even started to pick off more riders on the beginning of the last lap. Feeling confident that I had enough left in the tank, I really let it rip down the main downhill half way through the course. I passed three other riders and was ready to pound out the last half of the lap when I realized I had a puncture! The Stan’s sealant was not enough to close the hole. Of course I didn’t bring a CO2/tube. I got off the bike and found a guy loading up some gear on the side of the course and borrowed a floor pump and was able to get about 15psi in the tire and rode it that soft for about a half mile. Then the bead finally pulled off the rim and I was reduced to walking/running. I was ultimately able to borrow a rear wheel from some racers camping out by the side of the course. There was amazing support from other racers here.
I was very glad to not DNF in my first race in years. Looking at the results, had I not flatted I would have come in mid pack. As it was, I wasn’t DFL either. Overall, I had a great time, worked hard, and rode my brains out.