|Yeah, it was a perfect late afternoon for riding at New Fane.|
I want to win my age group on Sunday and I think I have a good chance. Rumor has it that Michael Cudahy, who won at Iola, is upgrading to Cat 2. I should get a call-up on Sunday and from my position in the front row I should have a clear shot at the fast gravel road start. I’m comfortable on gravel and should be able to get a jump on most of the field. The course is fairly flat but its biggest hill climb comes just 1.25 miles into the race and should be enough of a bump to create significant gaps if a large group is still together. If I can be among the first riders to reach the base of the climb, then I should be set up well for the rest of the race. Obviously, I’ll know a lot more when I do the pre-ride on Saturday, but this sounds like a good course for me.
Technical singletrack is still a great challenge for me. I won’t have to face much of it on Sunday but I did put in a serious training effort today at New Fane. I completed three full laps, finishing the last in a personal-best 27 minutes. Tonight’s softball game didn’t start until 9 p.m., so I had a rare opportunity to ride on a Wednesday. I consider riding well at New Fane to be a good gauge of my development as I mountain biker. Today’s ride was a great confidence booster in advance of what I hope will be a successful weekend at Rhinelander.