March 15, 2013

Shootout at Anglers Ridge 2013 - Race Report

Shootout on Angler's Ridge
Danville, VA
Virginia State Championship
Jeff: 6th Pro
Dylan: 9th Pro

Last weekend (March 11) Dylan and I drove the 4 hours down to Danville from the DC area early  Sunday morning to race the Shootout at Angler's Ridge.   While the registration process was a difficult one (USA Cycling's registration is difficult to use and not using, which is the default registration process for the Mid-Atlantic area, probably led to lower turnout overall), the open/pro field was fairly large and also included a number of Cat 1 riders.  Fast guys Jeremiah Bishop  (showing up just after picking up second in the US Pro XCT event),  Rob Marion, Connor Bell (top 10 result in a UCI World Cup junior event last year), Keck Baker and others came out for great weather and a dry course.

Loading up the car at 5am (it felt like 4am due to the time change)

The organizers ran the course in the opposition direction from years past, which had the unfortunate effect of eliminating a prologue which could shake out the field before hitting the first singletrack.  We were left with a narrow chute and only a small stretch of pavement before hitting singletrack with limited or no passing opportunities for the first mile or so.

Prior to the start (new Conti X-King tires on my bike)
Dylan and I lined up early, but were swarmed as the starting gun went off.  Dylan hit the singletrack around 12th and I was back in 18th.  Connor Bell got the hole-shot and proceeded use the clear air at the front to ride away from the field (behind him, Bishop had a slew of chain problems).

After working my way around lots of other riders, I eventually got up to Dylan's wheel.  We were both suffering a bit in the hot weather (relatively hot - we've been training in 30 degree temperatures, and it was over 70 at the race start).  I kept going on a course that suited my riding style (short, punchy climbs) and passed eventual second place finisher, Rob Marion.  After some more work, I could see the lead group of 5

Just as I was going to make contact with the leaders, I caught my handlebar on a tree.  Dropped me on the ground, a bit stunned, and my bike ended up off the trail in a ravine.  By the time I got back up and riding, Marion had passed me and the leaders were 25 seconds up the trail.  I never got that 25 seconds back and was left to ride basically on my own for the next hour and forty-five minutes...

We did 4 laps of the course and I caught one of the lead group in the third lap and was catching another at the end of the third lap, when the heat really started to get to me; that and hitting another tree.  Ouch.

Eventually, I ended up 6th, 1 minute down on 5th.  Dylan passed a bunch of riders in the last lap to finish 9th.  Results are available here.  That was a hard day for my first mtb race of the year.

Here's my ride data:


  1. I am glad I visit this blog and I really found it very much interesting. I haven't yet watch live this kind of race and I think mountain biking is one of the coolest sports in the world. I hope that someday I can watch this race in person. Thanks.

  2. Wow it's just amazing. I've really enjoyed reading this post, and love your blog. Thanks.