The Inner Loop Race
We arrived to Silver City on Wednesday night, picked up our numbers, had dinner and were in bed at 10pm.
Our race today started early so we were out of the house at 6:15am with the moon still out, some incredibly gusty winds and a some serious chill in the air.
Our race started in Pinos Altos which is just outside of town and even higher at approx.. 7,000ft.—meaning that it was really cold at the start, freezing for us desert kids. We were shaking.
The start of the race is tricky. You start out by going up hill further into the trees before a crazy, scary descent.
The hardest part of the beginning of the race is getting used to the altitude. It was difficult to breath this morning not only because there is less oxygen, but also because it is cold.
The first ten miles are up hill and on this first section poor Keenan and Tyler could not control themselves in the cold and altitude. They quickly fell off the pace and were never able to catch back on. Even though they came close and could see us for a while they never caught back.
After the ten miles of up there is a ten-mile descent that is epic. Switch backs, hairpins, and super fast. I went right to the front of the decent and actually was KOB. King of the Bottom. Right behind me was Daniel and only about half of the field. 20ish guys.
Both Christian Santa Cruz and Mathews both were able to quickly catch back on at the bottom of the descent. Once at the bottom of the hill the road just rolls around for about 30miles.
In that space there was a sprint bonus, and with the aid of perfect teamwork from Christian Mathews, Daniel was able to win it with Santa Cruz getting second.
Just after the sprint there were still the same 20 of us left when I flatted on a cattle guard. I got a great wheel change and was chasing back in no time.
Mathews, Santa Cruz, Daniel and Nick were still in the main pack and I really wanted to catch them to help again. I was feeling great.
We were very close to the critical climb of the day and the speed was picking up in the group.
As I chased I was caught by a group of three but within 3 miles I was able to ride away from them and then shortly after I caught Mathews who had blown after his great team riding.
I again was in no mans land with the three Daniel, Nick and Santa Cruz in front.
I continued to chase and unfortunately the only people I caught were Nick, Daniel and some random guy. I would end up chasing alone for 30 miles without any help.
Santa Cruz was able to ride his way into 4th place having ridden his way into the 5 man-winning break that formed on the feed zone hill.
I ended up riding in alone 11 minutes back in 18th place, while Keenan and Tyler were able to catch Nick and Daniel and then work together to come in behind me in the low 20’s over all about 15 minutes back.
We are happy with how the day went. We have continued to learn a lot and we are excited for tomorrow.