Here's my account of the race: Dave and I rolled up a few minutes before the start of the 65mile race and wedged into the pack fairly close to the front. It seemed like the rain had finally stopped and it felt pretty warm so I was happy about that. Off we went up the road for the first 2- 3 mile climb and I settled into a comfortable cadence for my 32X20 gear ratio. That meant I was passing a bunch of people on geared bikes and I finally caught up to a singlespeeder that I estimated was currently the front runner. He was a good rider and actually left me behind on the first bit of singletrack because I was being careful not to wash out in the slick spots. I slowly closed the gap on him and the rest of the pack without spending too much energy. After awhile I was pushing kind of fast to hold on to the group and pass the few riders that were slowing up in front of me but I felt good about my position. My hopes of having a good jump on the SS's behind me were dashed as I heard the two riders behind me discussing what gear ratio they chose for the race. D'oh. Both of them passed me eventually while we were still on singletrack. I wasn't going to risk a crash on some of those muddy, rutted downhills to hold position so early in the race. I thought I would be able to catch back up on the fireroads later but it wasn't to be. I got slowed up quite a bit by 100mile racers that were lagging behind on the singletrack and battled with geared riders on the fireroads afterwards. Passing on the climbs and getting dropped on the downhills and flats was par for me on this course. The second half of the 65mile route had some long, steep climbs that really wore me down. I felt cramps coming on a couple of times so I walked a few steep portions of the climbs to recover. That worked pretty well and I felt good going into the last bit of singletrack which I had heard was mostly downhill. Man I'm naive. There was hard climbing left to do and I did a good bit on foot which got me passed by a few geared riders that I had yo-yo'ed with all day. Didn't see any more SS'ers so I kept that fourth position locked up.
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