I was able to hit the last race of the series in August so I thought it would be a good idea to make it out to the first one of 2017. This crew does such an amazing job putting together a family friendly, fun race/community vibe. There are fast riders, kids, first time racers and everyone in-between. I found out a couple of the other Giant Co-Factory guys were going so it sounded like fun. My mom’s in town and Ali was working late so we left Reese with a sitter and mom and I took off with Rex and his bike.
The course and location are new this year. It’s at Central Park in Santa Clarita and from the looks of it the crowds were bigger than I remember. We pulled up a little late and the registration line was huge! Shortly after getting the number plate the kids race started and unfortunately Rex was just a little two young. These kids did 2 laps on most of the actual course! Gnarly.
I was able to pre-ride a bit with Andrew Doody and a lot of the trails are newly made and dusty with lots of sharp turns and little drops. The dirt hasn’t had time to pack down yet so it was hard carry speed. Very CX feeling! There’s one good 300ft climb at the end, whew! Short, sharp, loose courses are not my strong suit. Grueling climbs, yes please! Each lap was 3 miles and we had 4 laps total
We lined up in the small elite field and set off as the first group. The pace was pretty quick but conversational. I took the lead early and blew one of the turns sending everyone into the sagebrush following behind. Sorry guys! By the time we got to the top of the climb I’d opened a little lead and was feeling good. On the second lap traffic was really heavy and it’s not a very easy course to pass on. I tried to be polite as possible while still maintaining momentum. Sorry if I cut you off! Everyone was super cool and we were able to share the trail. Overall a fun course, great vibe and it was fun to make the top step of the podium and have such a great showing from the other Giant guys! Collarbone felt great. Good to be back. Off to Santa Ynez on Sunday for hours of pain!