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CA MTB State Championship Race

Sean McGill  | Published on 7/21/2019
Sean McGill - MTB State Championship Race

This past Saturday was the State Championships for cross country mountain biking. Despite the glory up for grabs, the rider turnout wasn’t particularly impressive. Despite the small turnout, I came prepared to race. I practiced the race course the day before and worked on a few challenging sections. Going into race day I felt confident in my fitness and technical skills. 

On race day, I rode the 20 minute or so climb up to the start line. This served as a great warm up and my heart was pumping by the time I reached the start, mostly from the altitude. I raced in the Category 3 19-29 Men’s race. 

From the start I drove the pace hard and quickly dropped all but one person. He and I traded leading back and forth as we climbed up the fire road. I knew the climb wasn’t too long so if I could just sustain a 10 minute effort I would have a quick rest as the course started to undulate. I found some smooth lines and pulled away from the only other guy in sight. I kept pedaling and the occasional look back showed no one in sight! I thought I had it made. 

Before the course turned to single track there were still a few short climbs to take the life out of your legs. As I was going up one, out of nowhere, the guy was back on my wheel! We made a turn to stay on course and battled for position. Soon came another hill where my now nemesis attacked. I tried my hardest but my heart rate was maxed and I couldn’t hold his wheel. That was the last I saw of him as he rode me off his wheel. 

The remainder of the race was lonely as I pushed myself down the single track descents. I had a couple off trail moments as the previous hard efforts sapped my focus. Back down to Snow Summit and through the finishing line, I came second in my category. I ended up about 1 minute behind the only other guy I was competing against. A great result for me and a great result for PAA!