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Ashland 12 Mile Super-D: A Great Weekend

June 29, 2010

Hey everyone,

If you have not heard of the Ashland 12 Mile Super-D event then start googling because this is a place like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory for mountain bikers. So be sure to get your golden ticket and head on over. It was a great weekend for the team with Lizzy English placing second, just 16 seconds behind  Giant Bicycle’s factory team rider Kelli Emmett who took the throne.

In the men’s category Nate Byrom finished 14th with a time of 36:26 against a stacked pro men’s field of over 70 riders just 13.63 seconds shy of his 6th place finish in last years Ashland 12 mile Super-D event. What a difference a year makes of what word of month does for this great event with over 400 registrants.

Other great results were posted on the board by Jordan Lopez and Jon Wilson. Wilson placed 25th out of the 70 riders and Lopez placed 30th! A great job well done. Here is Wilson in his own words:

“The race course is great, but the real riding is done after the racing. The trails that parallel the fire road sections are AMAZING! You can ride these trails, but they are still in the process of officially legalizing them. Rumor has it next year these trails will be part of the race course, and the brutal climb might be eliminated. I am sure this will make some people sad, but most of us such as myself will be stoked. I was 9th off the line, my finish result from last year, and next year I will be starting in 25th, my result from this year. Not too stoked on the result, but by far the best weekend of riding this year!”

Lopez was out for vengeance for this years Ashland 12 Mile Super-D. After a terrible crash last year that separated his shoulder to a level four Lopez was ready to finish the course with pride. Here is a description of Jordan’s race day in his own words:

I sprinted out of the booth, snapping through the gears trying to get up to full speed as quick as possible for the first “fire road” section of the race course. The first part of the course is non-technical with only two 90 degree turns where a riders speed can be all but absorbed. I made it a point to slow before these corners and then drop a foot and no brake “flat track” through them. Doing this allowed me to hold a strong speed through the section and let me do less work to get back up to speed quickly.

After the fire road then came the hill climb: throughout practice I made it a point to take it very easy on the climb. On these practice runs I never pushed my legs or forced myself to hold a high gear up the hill, but instead measuring the distance and maximum time of the climb. So on my race run I shifted to 3rd gear and stood up on the first 1/2 of the climb which is the steepest part of the climb. As the hill started to plane out I went to 4th gear and forced my self to hold it onto the “False Flat” after the climb. This section is almost tougher than the climb itself in that a rider can blow all their energy on the climb and have nothing for the longer section that follows it. Throughout this section and onto the 2nd fire road I felt strong and my legs felt snappy and full of energy.

The end of the 2nd fire road leads to “4 Corners”, top of the Spring Thaw DH course and the real fun section of this race. This section is fast, flowing and burned into my memory from 2 weeks back. My goal for this section was to be smooth and to push where I could to make time up on the XC racers in the course. From there to “BTI” the course is mostly downhill with one slight up hill that was more tough than the first because my legs were feeling the high pace of the race. As I neared the end of the course I came a little to fast into the new and final section of the course and this bobble caused me to come to a complete stop and to land my weight onto my left foot. As I started to get rolling again, I realized that I was in the wrong gear (8th) for a dead stop start. As I slowly started to pedal across the flat traverse, I quickly up-shifted to 3rd gear and tried to salvage my loss of speed and time. This new traverse section of the course added around a minute to 90 seconds to a racers overall time over the previous years. This flat traverse lead to a hard 90 degree right hand turn down a narrow single track and down to the 3rd fire road and a 30 second sprint to the finish line.

My overall race time was 37:50.2 with a average speed of 19.6mph. This time which placed me into 30th place of the total 72 racers.

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