I got up at 5AM to do this race and man it was chillyyyyyyyy this morning. I drove up and rode through Keene center at about 7:00AM, just in time to see some college kids say they were sorry for rioting last night by cleaning up the trash in the town center. Other than that it was a lovely traffic free drive.
Pickup my number, see it says 134 and get immediately bummed because it appeared as if they weren't staging by points. But, this bummer turned into joy when they tell us at the start that numbers begin at 130, yay! So I get a nice front row start and even though you could fit 20 across, they lined all 41 of us up in rows of 8 . . . so weird.
The whistle blows and I had a chance to take the holeshot, but I decided that there were maybe 5 or 6 guys in this race that I probably had to worry about so I let a few guys take the lead for the first lap. Course features were 1 set of barriers, some standing water in the field, a completely unrideable runup, a rideable sand section with a 180, some gravel at the bottom of a hill and about 50 yards of single track with a giant log in the woods. So there were 3 dismounts per lap, though I am pretty sure everyone else ran the sand.
After letting a couple guys lead for the first lap I attacked coming through the finish stretch into lap 2. This brought 'the group' down to only 4 guys and halfway through the lap I decided to keep on the gas. Me and a dude from Elm City Velo were briefly able to hold a 10 second or so to #3 and #4 for the next couple laps, but with 2 to go we were all back together. I was still on the front of our group for the last lap and was feeling good if it was going to come down to a sprint. Unfortunately, Elm City Velo guy had been storing some in the tank and on a power uphill section about 45 seconds from the finish, he attacked. Another rider came around me on the downhill immediately after that and they were able to stay away all the way to the finish. I sprinted it out with a guy who raced in camouflage colored cross shoes and olive colored oakley wayfarers (only thing I remember about him) and we didn't know who took 3rd until the results were posted. It was me!
So here's some proof that I finally won something at a bike race. The didn't have actual podium steps but pumpkin pie never tasted so sweet.
Submitted by Joe