The last round of the W@W series saw a stacked field take the start. It wasn't clear whether the race was going to occur. I ran straight into a large thunderstorm on my bike commute home from work prior to the race. Somehow, there is a local weather pattern at Wakefield that diverts storms away from the park. The storms parted and left us with just a sprinkle of rain and fast, tacky conditions.
|Expert field start|
|2009 W@W Champions - Neiters 1st, Dombroski 2nd, Matt Bailey 3rd|
|Dylan with a good gap on 2nd|
|Keeping the power to the pedals|
I had a tougher time of it than Dylan. I started a bit slower and eventually made my way through the field into second place toward the middle of the first of four laps.
But, going into the second lap, I crashed heavily on one of the newly constructed bridges. I'm not sure why they were built this way, but the new bridges require either turning when entering the bridge or a mid-way turn to cross it properly. My rear wheel slid out when turning off the final bridge, I fell on my side and slid off the bridge and down ont a pile of broken concrete, landing on my shoulder and ribs. I had a 30 second lead on 3rd place at that time and I gave all of it up while laying stunned in the ditch.
Eventually, I got up, having conceded 8-9 places. I got back into a rhythm and started picking riders off. Finally, I got around the 4th and 5th placed riders with a lap left to go and could see Joe and Jared off in the distance.
I worked my way up to them at the top of the climb (helped by lapped traffic that slowed them down a bit) and got a pass on Jared after a stream crossing (he also flatted).
In the last climb following the final stream crossing, Joe took the high line and I took the low line. I got around him to finish 2nd (though I think at that point, he was just riding easy into the finish -- he's got bigger things to think about than a local mtb race!).
A day later, and I can't get my wedding ring on my left hand because my fingers are 3x their normal size and I can't take a deep breath without stabbing pain; either bruised or cracked ribs. Ouch.
But, it was a very fun way to end the season.
|Testing the winning gold medal|
|2014 Series Podium - Dylan 1st, Chris Dobroth 2nd, Kevin Carter 3rd|
|A fine end to a fun season at Wakefield - though, it felt like we were riding through a swamp it was so humid!|