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So last weekend was my “sister in laws” birthday weekend and I had to party hardy Friday night in preparation for my first race of the season on Sunday 2/2/14. So I did. Saturday I spent re-hydrating, because I ended up needing it after too much fun if you know what I mean.
Since I was already in Sacramento for the weekend celebrating, my teammate Clint Claassen said I should race the TBF Mountain Bike Classic in Granite Bay, conveniently just 30 minutes from where we were visiting. I decided it would be a great first race of the season to spin the legs and flog myself in preparation for races to come. I’d never been to this venue before, and I was a little unsure what to expect. One thing I do know is they have a sweet new timing system provided by TimeYourRace, and that the race series is pretty well known.
As my Fiancé and I pulled into the parking lot I realized it was a much bigger venue than I was anticipating. There was even a news crew, who was interviewing Clint as we pulled up! Cool!
I unloaded my Santa Cruz Highball from the car and began my usual routine of getting ready, stuffing a couple Clifbar Shots into my leg of my bib shorts and debating whether to wear arm warmers or not. It was pretty dang chilly! I walked over to registration and was provided with a swag bag filled with some goodies and a sweet TBF beanie! BUT my race number was an evil one, 333. My lady has a weird suspicion about the number 3, let alone 333 but I tried to not let it bother me. The guy at registration told me “think of it as a lucky one”. So I turned the paranoia around and thought of it in a positive light. But was I ready to throw down today against the other fast dudes? Jared Kessler, Alex Wild, Clint CLaassen, Andrew Taylor and a really fast 16 year old named Tofor Lewis.
Alex and I ended up pre-riding the course together and I soon realized how awesome the terrain around here really is. As a first timer to the Granite Bay single track, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but there was a lot of goodness! Fast flow-able corners with natural berms and many rocky sections thrown in the mix made riding there a blast! There are even some boulder rock faces that you had to ascend up and over! I loved it, and the sandy soil was so tacky and ready to shred! We were having so much fun; I was almost late to the starting line! I came around from the front and nabbed a spot right on the line, one minute to spare!! And we were off!!
The pace started out really quick with Alex Wild leading the chase. He actually raced and won the CCCX event the day before, so I thought he may be hungry for another win, but he ended being a rabbit for only a few minutes, and then took it easy from there. A few minutes in I was sprinting for the lead, but Kessler nabbed me on the first single-track. I knew this would be a battle because he and I have raced each other before. I tried my best to hold his wheel and it worked. Left, right, left, right, bunny hop, two wheel drift! I was having a blast!

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There were four of us trading off places for about half the race. Kessler, Tofor, Taylor and I were neck and neck, all trying to hold on the best we could. I was trying to think tactics. When and how could I get away, but was beginning to wonder if the race would end on a sprint finish. Luckily that wasn’t the case! About half the way through we began passing lapped traffic, so at the first sign of weakness I made my move. Our 4 man train got held up for a split second too long which allowed me to pass Andrew Taylor to break away and gain the lead. Letting riders know (nicely) that you are coming Waaaaay beforehand is very important! All the racers were very courteous and respectful of the faster guys by pulling over swiftly, so thank you for that! Tofor Lewis was not far behind and I think was closing the gap between us. Coming around a corner I heard a loud pssssst and saw him pulling quickly to the side of the trail. He ended up with a broken spoke and flat tire. Too bad because he would have given me a run for my money, that’s for sure!
My lead ended up holding for the rest of the race! Blowing my fiancé a kiss during the last straightaway, I placed 1st with a gap of about 1 minute 15 seconds! Great job to Jared Kessler and Andrew Taylor for pulling office 2nd and 3rd! What a perfect was to start the season!! And thank you TBF racing and TimeYourRace for putting on an awesome event!

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Hopefully I can come to the next two races you are throwing and defend! Riding buddies, get out there! (http://www.totalbodyfitness.com/race/events/mountain-bike) What a great start to the season!!

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