It always seems like I talk about how the start is super important in a Hare & Hound race, but this one was even more crucial than normal. It's super dusty here, and there’s no breeze so it would just sit there. When the banner dropped I had a great start, but by the time we got past the end of the bomb and everyone had settled on the trail I was in 6th. First I passed Bret Saunders, and then about 10-miles in I got around Carl Massberg to get into 4th. The top 3 guys had already put some time on me so I knew this wasn't going to be easy. I stopped for a quick splash at the alternate (20-miles in) and was back out. I was actually feeling way better than I did at the first round and slowly closed up on David Pearson and Kendall Norman. By the time the first 48-mile loop was over, I was just outside their dust. Kurt had already built up a lead and I wasn't able to see his dust. Jonny and Eddie did a great job on getting me out after a quick stop for gas.
The second loop was in the hills and I was looking forward to that section. I could see David was able to get by Kendall and I continued riding in his dust. I knew I needed to get by Kendall, in the tighter stuff, if I was going to stay with David. I was able to get close enough and finally made the pass in some of the rockier terrain. I had some clean air for a little bit and then was able to get back on David. I was really close a few times, but the dust was so bad that I was just keying off him but couldn't see the ground (which is a little scary). Then we would get in some fast stuff and I would have to back off again. This happened most of the second loop (31-miles). The last loop was around 17-miles and I was hoping it was going to be really rocky. When we left the pits I made a couple mistakes. David was able to gap me again, but then I slowly closed back on him. It was basically the same thing as the second loop. It was frustrating to just ride in the dust and not be able to do anything. I basically just followed him into the finish for a disappointing 3rd.
I felt way better at this race and my bike set-up was really good. It's hard to take away something good from a 3rd, but I really felt my speed was good today. I worked my way up from a bad start and got on the podium. I also kept it on 2-wheels all day and just seemed to be a lot more comfortable on the bike. Now I'm sitting 2nd in points, tied with Kurt Caselli. David and I had a great battle, while Kurt put a pretty good lead on us. He's on the gas, but we still have eight rounds to go so I just need to keep working hard.
1st Kurt Caselli
2nd David Pearson
3rd Destry Abbott
4th Kendall Norman
5th Jacob Argubright
This weekend they will be having a Celebration of Life for Nathan Woods. It’s February 19 at 2:00pm at the Madonna Inn Expo Center in San Luis Obispo, Ca. Hope to see you guys there!
On the 23rd they're going to have a big ride day at Glen Helen for the Woods family. 100% of the money is going to Amanda and the kids so I hope to see everyone there! It's definitely something you guys should make it too!
Here's a cool video clip from Beau! http://www.vimeo.com/19983229
This race definitely wasn't as tough as the first round, but I still thought the club did a good job. It's a tough place to pass and to keep us out of the whoops, but they did a good job with the race.
We stayed up in a little town called Ransburg at Goat Breckers place. He was nice enough to feed us and it was just a cool environment to be in. Goat and everyone there are fun to hang out with and I owe them a huge thanks.
In two weeks I'll be back racing the WORCS series in Primm, Nevada. Time to get ready for some sand!
Bret Leaf came up to do a little suspension testing and it was definitely worth it. We got my stuff working really good and it's a great confidence booster for the rest of the year. Thanks Bret!
I also added some photos from this weekend. Thanks to my daughter (Kelsey) and Mark Kariya for them.
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2011 Sponsors: Monster Energy Kawasaki, Thor, Dunlop, GPR stabilizers, Shoei, Fox Racing Shox, Akrapovic exhaust, GoPro, Stephen Gall Training, SIDI, IMS, Zip-Ty, HoyFox.com, Motion Pro, BRP, Braking, Works Connection, Concept2, CTI2, Maxima, Kicker, O’GIO, Traxxas, Renthal, Hinson, Jonre Multimedia, dragonfireracing.com, Tomac Bicycles, Matrix, Scott, Cyto Sport, N-Style, UNI, Parkway Chiropractic, Tire-Balls, and ZLT.