Racing the US Cup with Evan Guthrie

2014-04-07 08:30:41
Post by Evan Guthrie
I just arrived back home Monday from a long Californian trip, that was capped this past weekend with round 3 of the US Cup series. This weekend was filled with cross-country, super D and short track races.  After spending a week up the mountains near Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear it was time for racing! I was feeling more prepared then last weekend and more excited.
Race day rived and the weather felt cool at 25C compared to the previous weekends 35C. I started 3rd row and stayed out of trouble through the first "s" turn section, or as I called it the crash-straight-crash section. Riding up front with the "big boys" from North America and Europe was quite motivating. I was able to go pretty darn hard up the first climb and hold my position around 15-20th. From there it was head down and focused on the finish. Each lap I was able to really pull out my best climbing effort and get into the single track half of the climb and downhill ahead, or just behind my competitors. The downhill was long and really worked in my favour, especially because I was having so much fun riding it! Having a bunch of the Cycling BC team riders out cheering was also very motivating. High five to the Cycling BC riders. It was very cool to see 14 riders down to train and race at these US Cups.
In the end I finished up 23rd, three places better than last week, but there were five or so new entrants in the race, all of which finished in the top-15.  Very happy to have started the season with two solid races where my fitness is solid, technical skills are better than ever, and my motivation to improve is growing every day.
After the cross-country I quickly ate, cleaned up my bike, put on my baggie shorts and headed up the mountain for the Super D race. For those that don't know: it is a shorter effort of 5-20 minutes with mostly downhill. Although, there are usually some short climbs and flat sections so that it doesn't totally play in the favour or downhill or cross-country riders. This course started at the top of our cross-country course and raced down the mountain and along the flats, which had a massive headwind. I was very confident and excited for this race. I LOVED the downhill section. It was just a matter of how my legs would react after having finished my nothing in the tank only hours before.  I started the race a little too excited and crashed in the first turn, stupid mistake, where my front tire just slid out on the loose dirt. I was off the trail and had to get to my bike, get on it, get back into the game and race to the finish. I came in 6th, only 0.4 of a second behind standing on the podium in 5th. 2nd and 3rd places were only a couple seconds ahead.
Sunday was the short track race. Which is a short 15-20 min effort on a 1-2 minute loop where 70-80 guys are fighting to be near the front from the start gun. I felt sluggish and tired in warm up but wanted to give'r a go. Started very well and rode around 10th for the first couple laps until a rider in front of me slid out in a turn and then stepped in my front wheel when he wanted to get going again. Unfortunate, but happy to see that I was feeling good and riding where I wanted to be. Ended a great six weeks in California. Now back at home for 2 weeks before heading off to Sea Otter wit my Norco Factory Team to race and have team camp!
Evan Guthrie
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Twitter: @evanwguthrie