Xterra West Cup
I’ve been saying for the past 3 years that I would love to have a go in the Xterra series. This weekend I finally gave it a crack in the city that never sleeps, Las Vegas!
When Ironman is your focus there seems to be limited opportunity to race and Xterra looks like it might provide the perfect venue to sneak in a few competitive battles throughout the summer without the long drawn out drama of Ironman.
I spent at least one day a week mountain biking all winter with the most awesome group of folks here on the island but my skill level was still a big question mark on the bike. Mountain biking requires an even mix of fitness and finesse. My fitness is good coming off the winter and my finesse is hit and miss at best. I learned alot this winter riding with some of Canada’s finest technical riders so that helped but I have been known to go through some rather dubious sections with less than perfect control. At times I think I was more of a hazard to the group and in one instance I think I declared that “I’m not trying to be a jackass, i’m just trying to make it over new obstacles”. Regardless, I have had very patient riding partners this winter and every Sunday proved to be my favorite workout of the week. And of course a big shout out to the Queen of Xterra for teaching me about the hour of power and tire pressure and how to do a good Xterra old school transition. I feel ten years younger when I come home from a mountain bike session.
And so onto the race. Out in the front pack with Conrad and Josiah and a couple other dudes…..front pack swimming is rather delightful and something i’m not entirely used to but i’ll take it ha! Onto the bike and it was immediately evident why Conrad and Josiah are arguably the two best guys on the planet at this sport. They were gone and they just kept getting smaller and that’s pretty much all I saw of them for the day. But there are races within races and I plugged away. The course was quite gnarly, loose gravel, rocky, really steep climbs and totally exposed Nevada desert with high winds and increasing heat. I managed a good effort on the bike and surprisingly did not loose too much time to the guys around me. I got off the bike in 8th and ran myself into 5th. The run was one of the toughest I’ve ever experienced….all uphill or screaming crazy downhills….my legs were pooched at the end and I’m sore today…….definitely one of the tougher efforts i’ve put out over the years but super stoked to be in the mix. And I have to admit, mountain biking is just plain fun no matter where you are, i always get off the bike totally jazzed baby.
A big thanks to Owen, Stephen and Christine Brown for their kind hospitality and of course the Kwaz who rocks the Kasba and is the ultimate support companion.
I don’t have any race photos yet, this is all i’ve got for now.
Full Report and Results can be found here: