Coming off of a compelling race at Fontana the weekend before, I was more than eager to see what I could make out of the HC events at Bonelli. The U23 boys of bear spent the week between the two races together and had a stellar time riding, eating, and doing a whole lot of nothing before Bonelli. We got in some early laps on the new course and were anxious to be back on the race scene with the whole team. The stoke was high.
Jerry, Luke, Steffen, and I set up a mock, one-lap race to get things opened up and I was feeling very good coming into Saturday’s XC race. A quick morning spin and it was go-time before I knew it. We filed out of our corrals, got lined up, and the race surged on. I had a really good prologue and first lap and was sitting well in the group. However, my first lap confidence didn’t save me from the nuclear-like explosion that occurred a lap later. Unsure of whether I should totally back off or not, I decided it would be best to try to trudge through and savor what I had left. I’m not sure what led to it, but I stayed in that red the rest of the race. I managed to pull things together and fight off for an acceptable 34th on the final lap.
While I definitely did not feel like I was hoping, Bonelli’s brutal course lacked mercy-making it even tougher to come back from. The Bear guys had a couple of phenomenal showings for the season openers and I am proud to be a part of it. I’m looking forward to bouncing back from this and fine tuning things before next weekend’s races at Sea Otter!