Jackson Hole race recap:
Reed's account of this race is great, so I don't need to go into too much detail. This was by far one of my favorite race courses and events in general. The fields are smaller, the trail technical and the competition this year has been exciting.
I didn't realize I had won this race the past two years. What's even more interesting is that I've shaved time off each year for the past 4 years. 1:26, 1:23:31, 1:21 and now 1:16. Having someone pushing you like Reed makes you ride as hard as you possibly can, then following him on lap 2 I was determined not to lose contact, which I started to do just before the big road climb. I forced myself to push hard enough to close the gap within 10 yards by the top of the climb and that made the difference, otherwise Reed would have been gone and I'd be coasting in for 2nd place. We both made mistakes on the downhill after the oxygen sucking climb but his was worse, although he was up quick and apparently ok after his crash. I was finally able to get by on the road with a hard kick which was critical considering the technical nature of the finish run-in (it has a hard left that's off camber just 40 yards from the finish). I was just able to hold him off on the sprint into the line and felt great, not so much because I won, but more because I raced my best and didn't make too many mistakes.
The whole trip to Jackson was a great experience and one I look forward to each year. It's a beautiful area to visit, I get to spend time with good friends and just relax and ride bikes. This year we also got to ride some amazing single track that we didn't even know existed in years past. Putt Putt to Cache Creek to Game Creek, then West Game Creek to Ferrins back to Cache and Putt Putt. 25 miles of amazing trails in the mountains of Wyoming. It's a MUST do circuit.
I already am looking forward to next year.