I raced in Sunapee, NH at the Horror at Harding Hill on Sunday. The race was very uneventful, nothing great, nothing bad. I felt fine physically and rode a decent race. The course is not technical, but it can't be mistaken as smooth either. There are numerous fireroad sections, but on either side of the defined path is tall grass littered with large rocks and divits. So, the perceived trail is quite wide, but the actual path is actually very narrow. I didn't get a chance to preride the course and doing so would have been quite helpful. Many times during the race, I found myself taking awkward lines that slowed me down. I did the Elite / Open race. At the Summer Sizzler, I could have had a decent result in the Elite field had I not had chain issues, so I figured I'd give it another try. In addition, my friend, Ben Chase, also decided to try racing with the fast guys. The start was okay, I was in 9th for most of the first lap, but forced myself to slow down in order to survive the long 5 lap race. So...I rode in last the rest of the race. On the last lap or two, I started to catch up to Jeff Landfried, Ben and Stephen Humphereys, seeing them through the trees and up the trail. I finished 39 seconds behind Jeff and about five minutes behind Ben, who seems to get faster each race. I just didn't want to risk blowing up trying to catch them, so I concentrated on riding smooth and consistent. I didn't embarrass myself, but I do think I will go back to Cat.1 / Expert for the hilly races (Harding Hill was ~400 ft. per lap, not crazy, but not flat either) and keep trying Elite for the courses I do well on - dry, fast and flowy.
Just like at Weeping Willow, there must have been 10+ photographers, but not a single one has posted anything on the wonderful www, so if you have made it this far without a photo, good for you and thanks for reading.
Results are here.