June 25th, 2017
Not every ride is sunshine and well groomed trails. This definitely didn’t prove to be true in yesterday’s Southern Classic race in Spartanburg, SC. It rained a bit each day leading up until the race, and left the trail plenty soggy for the hundreds of riders on Sunday.
Racing Stump Jump is always a highlight of the summer because it’s another close trail system. Spartanburg, only being 2 hours away, allowed me to wake up at a normal time and drive morning-of to the trail. Goals for this race were to dial in my pacing and determine anything additional that needed work before Nationals.
The race started with the Cat 1/Pro group being the second wave of riders to take off at 1030. The Cat 3 group was earlier, at 930; enough riders there to beat in some soggy berms for us. A relatively large field of 12 riders in the 19-39 Cat 1 group lined up. Among which were Tristan Cowie and Seth Kemp. The course started with a new start line this year, taking riders up though a newly cut field. It felt like riding in quick sand. I got off to a good start and hung towards the front for the beginning parts of the first of three laps. A few slides and dabs here and there, but stayed upright the whole race. Having a motocross background definitely helped when navigating the slick course.
After lap 1, I rode with a follow group of riders a few minutes back from the lead pack. The four of us went back and forth for the remainder of the race, swapping positions and holding a steady pace. During the last lap, our group dwindled down as we all felt the pain of the 2 hour race closing in.
The course was a fun one, with plenty variety of roots, fast sections, and small climbs. I held my position for 6th place during that last lap before crossing the finish line.
South Carolina races are always fun – Always a reunion of SC racers