Embrace it we did; the turnout for tonight's season opener of the Sunset Series, Ottawa/Gatineau's local bi-weekly mtb race event, was pretty sizeable. Tall Tree fielded 7 riders: Neil, Anna, Rob, David, Mike, Tanya, and moi. The Green Wave was indeed in full effect, only rivalled by the Euro-Sports contingent, which was probably even bigger. Good stuff.
Contrary the forecast's promise of sweltering heat, the wind picked up before the race began at about 6:45, and the climate was completely pleasant. Furious racing ensued.
In short, Tall Tree wound up with 3 riders in the top 4 overall: Neil, Rob, then me, Neil taking second Elite spot, Rob and myself 1st and 2nd Masters 30-39, followed by David a few minutes back (placing TBC). Meanwhile, Mike took 2nd in the Masters 40+ race.
Neil, looking pro post race...prost race? Photo stolen from Tanya.
Matt, looking decidedly not-pro post race. I should probably be embarrassed by this photo, but I really don't mind looking as bad as I feel during/after races. Photo also ripped form Tanya.
Rob and David looking like they are ready for more. Rob was sporting some sweet dirt lip liner, very goth. David cut wind resistance at least 6% with his skin-suit, which brought him up to 100% awesome. Photo: Tanya.
Our ladies had a less pleasant race, as Anna took a hard face-to-rock crash that drew a good deal of blood above her eye and rung her bell a bit. Tanya and numerous other ladies showed true sportswomanship in stopping to take care of Anna. Tanya shepherded her in, and by the time we caught up with them Anna was looking good, albeit sporting a bandage above her eye. She took the crash in stride like a true champ, and I'm sure she'll be attacking again this weekend at the Hardwood Hills Canada Cup. You go girl!
Photo ripped from Tanya, thanks V2. Anna can take a hit.
Overall, the Series saw a great kickoff, and I think many out tonight are pumped to improve each week. If you are considering coming out to take a crack at this whole XC racing thing, shod your bike with good grippy and sturdy tires, and come on out. Yes, the trails are technical, but getting off is always an option, and there is no shame in it! If you can ride Fortune well, you can ride anywhere. Proven fact.
Check out Tanya's (funnier) post here.