XTERRA Mountain Championships

XTERRA Mountain Championship

August 27, 2015 Comments (0) Race Report

Great Tahoe Flume Race


The Great Tahoe Flume Race was a new one for me, and one that I felt I needed to race in considering its significance in the area. The flume trail may not be the most challenging, but it could definitely be considered and icon of Mountain Biking in the Tahoe area.
Because of my focus on XTERRA races this season, it had been a while since I’d raced a cross country race by itself. I was excited to line up with all the local guys including my brother David. Registration and race start was at Spooner Lake and come 9:00 it was time to start. We all lined up on North Canyon Rd and listened to Kevin Joel give his little race speech about not falling off the flume and so on. Finally it was time to get started.
3…2…1…GO! Half a second later my chain had snapped, I couldn’t believe it! So I immediately pulled off to the side of the dirt road and began fixing the broken chain. I always carry a master link and a multi-tool with me for this reason, I just couldn’t believe it had broken at such a terrible time. Why not on the warm-up? My bad luck aside, I got it fixed and was on my way. I was now lucky enough to pedal and push my way through 3 waves of the other racers on the climb up to Marlette.
I put down some serious power on that first climb so I could catch back up to the group, but I turned myself a little bit too upside down in order to do it. I caught Nate Brown and Phillip Glenn at the top and then got around my brother David about 5 minutes later on the flume. There really wasn’t any time to recover after the climb up to Marlette, so I was hurting, but I pushed it on the flume pretty hard. The climb up Tunnel Creek after the flume trail was steep and tough but it led to the first actual descent of the race.
The Snapdragon trail was a bunch of sandy switchbacks which led to some more fire road and the red house flume trail. There was a lot of pedaling and a lot less coasting in this race compared to others. That as well as the fact that we had to climb about 1200 feet more than we descended made it so that I was absolutely spent and in muscle failure by the time we got to the last climb.
As soon as we started the climb up Sunflower Hill, Nate was right on my wheel. Both of us were pretty fatigued, and I could barely spin my lowest gear at some points. Even the flats were a struggle for me at this point. Nate and I played leapfrog for a little bit until he finally pulled away to finish about 10 or 15 seconds ahead of me. Man I was glad to be done!
I ended up in 5th place for my category and I couldn’t be happier about that after the way the start went down. Bummed beyond belief about the broken chain, I was ready for my free burrito and the picnic. Finding a way to be happy with the day can sometimes be difficult when the results aren’t exactly what you wanted, especially when it’s out of your control; however today I was able to brush it off and enjoy hanging out with my family.

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