Went to Wausau for the Big Ring Classic. Also had to plan for two extra days away from home because of a work function. Forgot something, turned around to go back home. Not a good way to start race day. Called Josh on the way up to verify start times. Bad news. Slowed the driving down because it wasn't worth the possible fine if I got pulled over. When I arrived at the venue and walked to registration, the race I wanted to do was starting. 1-1/2 hours to the next start. I upgraded by default. I wasn't ready for the shorter race, let alone the longer one. Guess I'm back in Sport. Started slow knowing I'd need to save energy somewhere just to finish. Hilbert was there. He started pretty hard and I passed him about 1/2 mile in as he was wheezing from a bit of an asthma attack. He said he'd be okay, so I just kept on going. About half way in I was in a rock garden and had too much confidence the ability of my 29ers to roll over obstacles. I misjudged and came to a dead stop as both wheels hit rocks that may as well have been wheel chocks. I kept going and found the landing on my top tube to be quite uncomfortable. Back into the saddle. Another couple of miles I was starting to get my feel for the dirt back. Things felt like they were really starting to flow. I've spent many hours racing on the terrain at Nine Mile Forest and I think that hurt me. As I got more and more confident, my speed increased. The issue was that on this particular race day, we were running some of the trails the opposite that we normally do. I'd recognize the are, but the flow wasn't the same. I'm not sure that this was a contributing factor or if it's just an excuse, but I caught a tree with the end of my bars. The bar got ripped out of my hand. Pain shot into my wrist and the next thing I felt was my shoulder hitting the tree. Rode a lot of that remaining lap one-handed as the trail allowed. Luckily there are a number of fire roads involved in the course. Finished the first lap feeling better, but not great. Looked at the Lap/Finish sign and made a decision to turn right. One more lap. Slow, steady, complete the lap. I finished. It hurt. It was annoying. But I made myself finish. I was DFL, but I was still in the saddle and turning the pedals. One race in the books. Looking forward to the next one. Wrist is still a bit tender, but it will be ready.
Huge congrats to the Curtes brothers. 1-2-3 in Comp SS. 1-3-5 in Comp overall. That's one heck of a family showing.