May 27th, 2018
I won the 6th round of the SERC series!
Over the years of following different race series’, I’d never raced in Tennessee. Common excuses have been “too far” and “further than Pisgah”. This round of the SERC series was set to take off from Enterprise South Nature Park, near Chattanooga. The day prior to the race when I’d normally preride, the trail was occupied by an endurance running race.
I decided to show up extra early to the race and ride a lap on the unknown territory. The race course began on a paved section and looped to the singletrack for a mile long start loop. Once on the trail, I quickly noticed the trend of loose gravel atop a hardpacked surface. A majority of the trail followed this consistency. It quickly looped through a flowy wooded area, up some subtle climbs, and down a fast final mile to the finish. Nothing amazing, exhilarating, or dangerous stood out about this course.
As our race was set to begin, about 20 riders lined up for the elite wave. The pavement start was fast and I settled in at the back of the lead group. We set a casual pace for our first lap of 4. As lap two was underway, the pace picked up for the whole pack. A notable moment from this lap happened as the rider in front of me crashed on a fast section. Slamming on brakes, and quickly changing trajectory, I barely missed hoping over fellow rider Blake. As lap 3 began, three of us jumped off the front to move the pace a bit quicker. We set a fast lap at just over 30 minutes. Lap 4 was underway and it was still Kyle, me and Mose at the front. With not many places to pass, anticipation was high when we hit the road sections. Kyle leaped off the front early into the lap while Mose and myself attempted to follow. The solo attack put a sizeable gap on us. Several minutes later, we come upon a sidelined bike, waterbottle and rider. Kyle took a spill on a fast downhill section. It was me and Mose to make it to the line. We both felt pain hammering that final 1/2 lap. Pushing the uphills and bombing the fast downhills, we approached the line fast. I came across first with Mose right on my wheel. An uneventful finish, but exciting race.