Story by Hannah Brewer:
The White Park Throwdown is one of my favorite mountain bike races of all times.
It may be the ONLY race course that does not feel like it is uphill both ways. Although it is not rocky, the tight turns, flowy single track, roots, and pump-track sections make it somewhat technical at race speed. And since there are no long uphills, there is no time to rest either: It is a "pedal hard the whole time" kind of course.
This year, the slip-n-slide mud made it extra technical, and small roots and log crossings became a challenge for me. I had to slow down and hit them at the correct angle or I would wipe out. Ok, I did wipe out. But only once!
Being that it is my first summer racing in the women's expert field, I've been trying to pace myself and not go out too hard since the expert distances are longer than what I am accustomed to riding on a mountain bike. I was in 4th place for the ladies when we dropped into the woods on the first lap. At this point, I was hoping to ride consistently and keep my 4th place spot.
As the laps went on, my legs held out and I managed to move into 2nd place. All that climbing in CO with Sam and Deidre and chasing Richy at Moraine must have paid off!
With two laps to go, I saw a (fast-moving) flash of Top Gear's ultra-fasty, Jill Dugan, through the woods. And then "poof", she was gone again.
But with three strong ladies on my tail and the anticipation of being lapped by Gunnar or Gerry Pflug, I knew I needed to keep my pace fast, even though I felt like I was riding alone in the woods.
As the mud finally started to dry up, I crossed the finish line in 2nd place for the Women's EXPERT field. It was a good day.
Getting on the podium and not getting lapped by the boys made for a great race...
...but sometimes the best thing about racing is feeling good on the bike and enjoying the ride.
Hannah Brewer - 2nd Place Woman's Expert
Rich Allen - 3rd Place Men's 1/2/3 55+