In this second installment of the Addison Oaks Stage Race was the Expert/Elite Single Speed Cross Country. As we toe the start line, or in this case, front tire, my single speed race compatriots and I exchange a few pleasantries and the gun goes off. I don't like to lead out in the races as it's a good time to let someone else do the work and size up the competition. This course start allowed me to tuck in behind the leaders wheel and save a little energy.
As we start the Water Tower climb I realize our pace is not as high as normal, so I am content to stick to the leaders wheel and see how is single track prowness is. Rolling through the first single track is fun and feels like a fast fun, albeit hard ride. I'm having a blast, the breathing is good despite the heat and we are rolling along nicely. We cruise through the first lap and our little single speedd peloton work horse is still out front doing all the work.
We do make it through all the two track and hit the paved path on the back side of the course, as we approach the end and just before the single track our third single speeder sees the first Elite woman catching and annouces she'll probably want by real soon...not only are the wheels rolling on my Specialized S-Works Carbon Stumpy Single Speeder, they start to roll in my head as I plan my strategy. The Elite woman annouces she wants to pass and there is absolutely no safe place to pull over, so we keep our pace as is. As we reach a section with an option to go left or right, our work horse leader pulls to the right, which is the slower line, and I hit the gas. Within 30 seconds I turn around and no one is with me. I keep the gas on the entire length of the single track which spits us out near the start/finish area and I have a one minute lead on the my chasers. I continue to feel good, hit the Water Tower climb and keept the pressure on and roll through the single track with a smile on my mug.
I continue to pass a few riders and I catch an old friend, annouce my presence and use him as my personal domestique. He obliges me and pulls me through all the two track and paved path to the single track where I go around him and keep putting some coal on the fire. Third lap done and I have a two minute lead...I go through the start finish and notice my competition is further back, I go through the 4th and final lap and back off a little, but still end up two and a half minutes up on 2nd place as I roll in. I take a little break and chat with my newly found single speed buddies, congratulate each other and my day is done, time to relax! First place both days, my time today would have put me third in the 50+ Expert group, good stuff!