Day 3 at BCBR brought us yet again new and incredible trails. Each location here seems to bring a new element to the race.
Today the course started on a gradual and burley fireroad climb with rocks the size of softballs. It was just enough to make drafting difficult even though drafting was still essential. I found myself in a strong group and pushed hard for fear of getting dropped. When we hit the singletrack I felt a sigh of relief. It didn’t last long.
I was sitting in 3rd but I knew I wasn’t far behind. The trail flattened out but don’t be deceived. It didn’t become easy. The roots and stumps scattered the trail sucking the watts out from every pedal stroke. As we pushed forward, the mind began to question just how far this could possibly continue. The trail was a small sliver of dirt amidst a sea of green moss and trees. A slip of a wheel here, a strike of a pedal there and the wheels kept turning.
As we entered a small descent, I came up on 2nd place who had just encountered a crash and as I passed by she jumped in my group. It was now a battle royal.
We upped the pace and began to switch back and forth as the singletrack switched from fireroad to single track. I would lead, she would lead, and back and forth it went. We were blowing by men yelling, “2 women back!” This went on for some 30-45 minutes. Finally, we encountered a man who split us up, and I was forced to unclip as he pushed back on the trail. The girl ahead was a true pro and acknowledged the situation but having lost my rhythm, as I reclipped in the pedals on a steep climb, my legs cramped.
I pushed onward and fought hard all the way to the finish which was now only a couple miles away. I finished in 3rd, less than a minute back from 2nd.
It was a great day on the bike and tomorrow we venture into the longest day of BCBR. Prayers are always appreciated!