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The 2013 Maybury Time Trial was the 8th race in the MMBA Championship Points Series, and a race that I had been looking forward to quite a bit. I had finished 3rd at Yankee and 2nd at State Games, and since only 2 out of 3 of the CPS time trial races count towards your points total, the only way Maybury was going to matter to the standings for me was if I placed higher than 3rd. There’s also the time trial “series within a series” for the CPS (to encourage racers to do all 3), but I wasn’t particularly concerned with that. In short, I wasn’t feeling much pressure for this race, and really just wanted to go out hard and have a good time on the trail. Livening things up a bit was the fact that there were quite a few sport SS riders competing – Eric Wolting wanted to lock down the time trial series in his last race in the sport category (he’d won at both Yankee and State Games); Tony Cressey (who beat me by a lot at Pontiac) was back racing following a broken scapula suffered at Mud, Sweat, & Beers; my Wolverine Sports Club foes Tim Fargo & Fabrice Portes were in attendance; and Talon Tramper had made the trip with his Village Bike crew from GR. Oh, I should also mention that they had reversed the course, which eliminated any benefit the local riders may have had.
A little about the course – Maybury is 75% tight, technical singletrack with lots of rocks & roots. Reversed, there’s basically no intuitive way to carry momentum, so it required a really active riding style (read: a LOT of work). For the race, it was roughly a 10-mile loop, with 1.5 miles of grass/gravel/2-track at the start, 6.5 miles of singletrack, and then another mile or so of pavement/2-track/grass at the end. The race organizers gave everyone a chance to pre-ride the course on the Friday night preceding the race, which I took advantage of. I’m not sure it really helped me, because there’s so much technical stuff that your brain just goes “Roots, roots, roots, rocks, roots, horrible switchback, surprisingly terrible climb (featuring: roots!), roots… bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…” Nothing really sticks. But it was good to get a decent spin in my legs the night before the race, and it did give me a general idea of what to expect.
The morning of the race I was feeling pretty great. For the past two weeks, work had been rough with long hours and high stress, and for the first time in a while, I was feeling scrappy. Unfortunately, this didn’t exactly translate to how I felt during the race, but it was a good way to start the day nonetheless. My beautiful bride Jessica and my brother-in-law Eric were kind enough to accompany me, and we arrived at the park around noon. I had a 1 p.m. start time, so I got my business together, chatted with Mr. Wolting, and cruised around for a warm-up that was probably too brief. It was relatively hot out (high 70’s), for what’s been a very cool August, but otherwise the weather was perfect. So, on to the race.
I was 5th off the line behind 3 Expert/Elite SS riders and one sport rider (Jonathan Bolenbaugh, I believe?). I had a clumsy start, missing my pedal and jamming the nose of the saddle into my lower back/upper butt. Ugh. On the initial out-and-back grass/2-track, I could tell I wasn’t going to feel great during the race – heavy legs, rough breathing, etc., likely due to the heat. But cycling is suffering, right? Push through it. I caught the sport SS rider after about 2 miles in the single track, and he kindly let me pass. After that, I was basically alone all race. The expert/elite guys in front of me were clearly extremely quick, and I never saw them. I did see some of my sport SS competitors on the trail where it doubles back on itself, and towards the end I could tell that Eric was making up distance on me, but I was never passed during the race (which, during a time trial, means you’re cooked). I kept my head about me, made sure I stayed upright on my bike, and tried to find the best lines through the root maze. There was a climb at the end of the course that everyone had been griping about, as it really catches you off-guard, and I did have to do a bit of a run-up for that. Otherwise, I felt like I was riding competently, but I didn’t feel fast. Eric caught up to me right at the end of the course, and he crossed the line right behind me. That meant I definitely did not win, as he had started over a minute behind me, but other than that I had no clue how things were shaking out. When everything was sorted, it turns out my time of 41:27 was good for second place. Eric had tied with a geared sport rider for the fastest sport time of the day at 39:59, and Tony Cressey had finished for 3rd at 42:25. Given how I felt during the race, I was very happy with this result.
I’m likely going to be skipping the last Tailwind race at Stony Creek on Aug. 24th, so that leaves just two more MMBA series races at Addison and Pando. Time to finish this thing strong. – Adam Cefai