H2H#1-Waywayanda Spring Cleaning

I have a love/hate relationship with Waywayanda. As much as I enjoy being in the rocks, this place gets kinda silly in a few spots and will get even the manliest of men to dab a line or 3, at least the last 2 years I’ve done this race. For ’09 the guys at Black Bear decided to reverse the course, which added a little climbing, but seemed to make the rocks easy-“er”. Tales from the interweb world of MTBNJ spoke of 50ish minute lap times, making for a nearly 3-hour long race, if it stays dry. It was starting to sound like a lot of pain and I was nervous the week prior, something I’m not known for. So Freddy and I hit up Chimney Rock during the week just to get some time in the rocks and dial in my bike a little. It ended up being a really fun shake-down ride and left me confident in my technical ability. Maybe it won’t be so bad? I did win here as a Sport rider in ’07. That’s gotta count for something right?

Photo by FullFramePro.com

Photo by FullFramePro.com

I awoke race morning to the sound of raindrops hitting my bedroom window. I had mixed emotions, in most cases I LOVE the rain and slop, but driving into Highland Park to meet Wolfie had me a little nervous about tire choice. Hutchinson Pythons. In wet, slippery, rocks and roots? Really? Nothing I could do about it now, maybe the rain will stay here and it’ll be fine up there. 70 degrees and sunny up there. Which it was. For a little while anyway!! The rain stayed away for the Cat3 and most of the Cat2 races. Freddy took the win in the SS class for MTBNJ with fellow 29er Crew-mate Chris DeNoma hot on his heels for second. Nick from Team DRV finished in the top-ten, a great ride considering it was only his second race ever!! Wolfie from the Rutgers Cycling Team made a valiant return to mountain bike racing and braved the slippery conditions to finish mid-pack, hopefully his spark is reignited and he’ll be back for more!!

Photo by GT Luke

Photo by GT Luke

The heavens opened up once the Cat1 field hit the line. This was gonna be a long slippery day. I got to start from the front row which always helps. The first bit was a long slightly uphill fireroad that really helped spread out the field a bit, nice. I think I was in 5th or so going into the woods. Gregg and Allistair were the first to make an attack and left me with the Bulldog twins, Keith and Chris. The 3 of us swapped posistions a bunch of times until eventually Chris went backwards and I was left with Keith. I would get him through the rocks and climbs and then he’d get me back everywhere else. The conditions were epic. Everything took effort. Wet rocks, greasy roots, the climbs were like butter, the rain was cold, it just started to hurt. After 2+ hours of racing we caught Alistair with 1/2 lap to go and now Keith had another Bulldog team-mate. I figured for sure they would try to kill me at some point, and they did, on one of the fire road sections, but they bobbled and I was able to get around both of them into 2nd. They tried one more time to get me but as Alistair tried to pass he hooked his bars in my shorts by accident and it cost him enough that I was able to establish a gap. I was running out of real estate quickly and figured Gregg was long gone at this point. A few turns later and I see a Westwood Velo kit in the distance. I HAD to close the gap. I hit the downhills brakeless and took TONS of risks to finally get on his wheel. I scared the living crap out of myself more than a few times!! I sat on him expecting a sprint once we hit the final fire road and I wanted to keep what little energy I had left in the tank for his attack. But it never came. I passed him in the last technical section before the fire road and rode alone to take my first Cat1 win!! My computer said 28.92 miles, 2:38:48 total time, 10.93 average speed. 26 minutes in zone 5, 115 minutes in 4, and whatever else the rest was. It hurt!! My first envelope filled with cash and pimpy medal made everything feel a whole lot better though!!

Photo by GT Luke

Photo by GT Luke

Thanks to Wolfie for being the most pro feeder-guy I’ve ever had!! Thanks to Gary Fisher for making the nimblest big-wheeler on the planet, it was definately an edge out there today!! Thanks to Ej from Crankskins for keeping my cranks unscathed through the boulders!! And thanks to Roger from FinKraft Coaching for making it possible for me to even attack 2.5 hours into a race!!

Gas money for the rest of the season!!

Gas money for the rest of the season!!

Next stop is Tymor Park, see you all there!!

-Jim.

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One Response to “H2H#1-Waywayanda Spring Cleaning”

  1. antgold (mtbrnj) Says:

    I’m following you !!
    you give me inspiration …
    you are F-A-S-T !!!
    I wont have courage to ride in such condition …

    good luck !
    Ron

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