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  • Writer's pictureCaleb

Missoula XC

Another quick and belated blog post coming at ya! It was rad to have another home race and to be sleeping in my own bed. It was also a ton of fun to have so many friends and teammates in town and enjoying the place where I now live.

Things kicked off on Friday with the short track aka "Jort Track." Ripton Jeans Co. hooked up one of our Bear National Team staff Colby with a box of jorts and we took them out for a spin(an aggressive national level race).

The Missoula short track course has always been a tough one for me to crack. I got off to a slow start but worked my way up the whole race through careful pacing. It hurt like heck but I finished it off with a 9th place finish. I held pace with the lead group but due to my slow start I was never able to make contact, and was stuck chasing 10-20 seconds back the whole time. Basically I was strong enough to keep up but not strong enough to close that gap to such a fast group of riders. Next time a better start and positioning would be the ticket!

On Saturday morning we hit the cross country event. Some morning rain made the course a bit sloppy and chilly weather changed the dynamics of the event for riders who were caught off guard.

I had a solid start and settled into the top ten up the first climb. I paced myself carefully and worked into the middle of a solid group. I tried to jump around the group before the first descent because I knew it well but riders fought hard for that lead spot.

Going into lap two things started to separate out a bit and settle down. The lead group of three was up the road a ways and I battled in the group fighting for 4th-8th. After a few laps we caught my teammate Bjorn and our group fought ahead now fighting for 3rd-7th place. As things came down to the last 1.5 laps I just didn't have the legs to earn my spot on the podium. Luke V. surged away early to finish third, my teammate Pav punched in a great final lap to finish 4th, Ryan Standish hung tough for 5th, Alex wild took sixth and I finished up 7th.

I wanted that podium spot pretty dang badly but I was happy with my performance and the consistency of my results so far this season. Next up is MTB Nats!!! Final photo by Robert Mazza, all others by Jackson Morann.

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