Written by Paul Simoes Thursday, 01 June 2017 00:00
Third race of the year, might as well make it a good one; a 3 day stage race in PA. Without question, the main event is the the 5 day race, but much easier to do the 3 day race work wise and I only needed to take one day off for this race. The 3 day SS class only had two of us which kinda made it like not sure what to expect. The 5 day SS class had a full 9 racers, lucky them.
Day 1 was what they were calling the Queen stage - longest and most climbing. And we’re off for 3 days of fun. Within a couple of miles I met my other SSer in the 3 day and glad to hear Josh brought a teammate. Alright, we’re up to 3 and then Josh passed me and I could already see he was fast on the dirt roads. I tried to keep up but couldn’t. I was able to catch up and pass him on a crazy hike-a-bike. So we went back and forth a couple of times but he passed me on a long climb. Luckily he never got too far ahead. Finally to the highlight of the day - the famous Tussey trail and the Kona Honzo Ti was at its best, This Ti hardtail is a trail bike without question the great feel of Ti. The 68% head angle lets you attack the rocks like a madman which helped me have a good run onwhat was by far the longest singletrack of the day, passing about 6 or so riders and one of them being Josh. And a big thanks to my Schwalbe Snakeskin tires and keeping the air in my tires all week, no flats. Only a few more miles to go, so I did push fairly hard to hold whatever lead I had and get a stage win even if there are only 3 of us. I was able to hold on to the lead and take a 2 1/2 minute lead into day 2.
Day 2 was the shortest day of the 3, and we’re off once again. This time Josh came out swinging, he just took off like a bat out of hell right at the start and I couldn’t keep up and I didn’t see him again until the end of the race. The day was a bit tougher than I expected; a good amount of singletrack early on, some great downhills, and some somewhat flat dirt roads which, if you didn’t get a good start you would be punished and get caught up in traffic and I don’t do well on flat dirt roads. So I ended up giving 6 ½ minutes to Josh and the lead and I'm now back about 3 minutes.
Last day and it should be a good one. A fairly long day with a bunch of ups and downs and MUD, MUD, MUD! It poured the night before. Well Josh did it again and took off with maybe not as much of a bang but still took the lead right from the start and didn’t see him again util after the race. This might have been the most fun day of the 3. Some great singletrack and maybe some of the craziest DH’s of the week. It was hot, greasy, muddy, and humid - the northeast jackpot. It was a fun day but tough for a last stage of the race and they would end the race with a big climb up Sand Mountain road. Glad to have done my second stage race and one on the East Coast. Finished 2nd for the week, but I was the enduro king in my class. Josh got the win, and a big thanks to Josh for coming and bringing a friend. I would have been riding by myself and that wouldn’t be as much fun and it was a race the first couple of days. A big thanks for all the singletrack of PA, a whole bunch of FUN!!
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