28 April 2015

RR: XTERRA West Champs

Happy to be back racing with the gang (PC: XTERRA)
The big ones are underway, after a great winter in Tucson training it was time to start a rather lengthy road trip back to Colorado, first stop was in Las Vegas for the XTERRA West Champs.
Headed out for a pre-ride. (XTERRA)

Spread out front group, I am tucked in there somewhere.

The weather was cooler leading up lead to the race and with a cloudy cool morning it was a +2XU X:3 wetsuit swim as expected.  A number or old road tri friends showed up to race and made for a large front pack on the swim, I got out well and got the arms moving and settled in trying to conserve but making sure that no one was going to get away.  Ben Allen as usual did get a little gap on the group by the end and the chase was on as we mounted the bikes headed for the lunar landscape course on the bike.

Up one of the early climbs, still had the Rudy's with me.

Rocky river bed, just about to loose the Ergomasks.
I managed to transition quick and was quickly into 3rd and charging to catch Ben and Francisco Serrano.  I really attacked the first lap of the bike trying to catch up and put as much distance as possible between me and Josiah who would be charging hard from behind.  I stayed steady and really pushed the hills but was a bit more tentative on the looser downhills than I should have been.  With the cooler temps it is easier to forget but just as critical to get your nutrition and I did a decent job getting down a bottle of +First Endurance EFS Pro nutrition on each lap.  Josiah caught me about three quarters of the way through the first lap and I immediately latched on his wheel and stayed with him up a decent little climb, unfortunately I had lost my +Rudy Project Ergomask's earlier in the race and once we were on the dusty trails along the fingers of the lake I had to back off a bit so I could see and not ride into the lake.  Thankfully Josiah didn't get away that quickly and it was a nice confidence boost.  The second lap was a bit tougher but I kept pounding away, focusing on sections of the course at a time breaking things up.  About half way through Chris Ganter caught me a bit by surprise, I knew he was a guy that could not be over looked as he had been getting better and better through out last year and knew that he had some solid training behind him coming into this year.  He races smart and I didn't get a chance to latch on to his wheel, I kept chasing hard but he opened up about a 30-40 second gap by the time we reached transition.
2015 XTERRA West SRM Powerfile

Proof that the run is getting stronger, both feet off the ground.
I grabbed my flask of +First Endurance Liquid Shot as I headed out of transition Craig Evans and Karsten Madsen were coming in and I knew they would be chasing hard.  I was stoked I felt great going out on to the run and focused on holding a nice steady pace for the first half.  Once the larger hills were behind I really started to turn it on as I could see that I was pulling back time on Ben Allen but Chris but he was pulling away a bit.  I slowly cranked up the pace really focusing Ben and knew he was suffering.  About a mile out a friend told me he was cramping bad and I responded pushing harder through the last uphills.  

Once I hit the last downhill segment on the pavement I was in a full on sprint to catch Ben.  At the line we were separated by three seconds, Ben just held strong to hold me off and I crossed in 5th.

Always great being back racing at XTERRA a great family of racers
(L2R-Ryan Ignatz, Francisco Serrano, Me, Josiah Middaugh)
Always good when you can post a pic of the podium (L2R-Ben Allen 4th, Josiah 3rd, Francisco 1st, Chris Ganter 3rd, Me)
It was a great first hit out of the year and though I would have liked to of placed a bit better I walked away from the race very positive about how I had competed and raced especially mentally through the race.  This is a bit of an easy week of training as I am not in St. George for the North American 70.3 Pro Championships, it is a world championship caliber field and it will be a great battle on Saturday.

Another reason to be grateful the +XTERRA America Tour has started is the Cut-a-thons at the races that Paul Mitchell hosts.  It is a great cause, you get a free hair cut they ask for a $15 donation and all of it goes to the +Challenged Athletes Foundation.  Paul Mitchell is also extremely enviromentally focused as well and during Earth Month (April) they are planting trees with Reforest Action.  If you race an XTERRA this year Paul Mitchell will plant a tree in your honor, if you are not racing one they will plant others if you go to www.paulmitchell.com/reforestaction click through the links and use either code SPORTATREE or XTERRAME
Getting my mop cut down to race style thanks to Kalena, Ross and the Paul Mitchell Crew
Race Details:
Race Kit: 2XU Custom Teamwear Long Distance Tri Top and Compression Tri Shorts
Swim: 2XU Project X:3 Wetsuit, 2XU Race Goggles
Bike: Pro Cycling S-Works Epic with SRM 1xCrank (PWR Avg 270, NP 306)
         Tires both with 80ml of Effetto Mariposa Caffelatex
         Front: Fast Trak Control 29x2.2 @ 23psi
         Rear: RaceKing Protection 29x2.2  @ 26psi
         Rudy Project Windmax Helmet
         Rudy Project Ergomask Glasses (till I fumbled them putting them on)
Run: Colorado Running Company TrailRoc 245
         Rudy Project Noyz Fluo
Race Nutrition: 1st Endurance Triathlon Nutrition Plan

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