The Missoula ProXCT turned out to be a success! I was a little apprehensive about my preparation coming into the race - I had been on the move from NC to CO, and a housing snafu in Boulder made life a little more stressful.
The course in Montana was a little less technical than I had been hoping; the course mainly consisted of one large, gravel climb, followed by a flowing, high-speed descent. A hot lap the day before also indicated that even though the altitude wasn't extreme, it was enough to play a role in my pacing strategy.
The race was at 7:00pm on Saturday, so after a full day of waiting around, we finally got the race underway. I played my cards safe, and held back on my pace; a move that paid off. As it turns out, that was just about exactly the pace I could hold for the 1.5 hour race.
With a 5th place performance on Saturday, I was happy with the result and less stressed about the STXC on Sunday.
As Sunday morning rolled around, I was ready to see what I had left in the tank. Jerry Dufour and I took turns at/near the front for about 1/3rd of the race. We helped spread the field out, solidifying a group of 4 riders by the end. As the final laps ticked by, I was among the 4, and was able to hold on to a 3rd place finish.
Happy to grab a few podium finishes!
Now, back to CO for 2 days, and then a quick turnaround to rounds 4 and 5 of the Canada Cups with Bear Development Team.
From the top: The XC podium (5th), the STXC podium (3rd)
Luke Vrouwenvelder - Head coach at lukeVcoaching and pro cyclist based in Charlottesville, VA