Best race ever - Worst race ever - Great teammates.
Sunday's XC felt so good, I rode with my teammates Heather and Amanda for a while, that was a blast; it felt like we were out for a fun ride. When we passed Todd in the second tech-zone Amanda and I were riding 15th and 16th. Then I worked my way up to ~12th. I could see other riders up ahead, my legs felt fresh and strong, powering up the short steep rises was fun, I was so happy. My tubeless Dred Head Kenda tires were railing the corners and hooking up on the loose climbs. (I talked to Tinker about these tires before my race. He said not to run them because they were too heavy, but I wanted all the extra rubber protection I could get, and they were FAST.)
Almost halfway done, through the rocky section and across the wash, headed to the last section of rollers, and I hear shhhhhhhhh, I had a rear flat. I was in denial, it wasn't flat, it wasn't my tire. But it was. I struggled with getting the tire off, then tried running (too slow), I tried riding (I wrecked), then gave up and changed the tire. When I eventually got the tire off and pulled out the rim strip my teammate Heather (who was racing sick and just finishing for points) pulled up. She offered me her wheel (UCI teammates can help each other). Poor Heather, sick and left out there to put a tube in and get my wheel back together. I owe her one for that.
I worked my butt off and made up a lot of spots, enough for a halfway respectable finish, then in almost the same area, almost to the finish, a second rear flat. That one was even harder to change and took 5.5 minutes. With ~9.5 minutes in flats there was nothing I could do but spin in. I was so deflated. But at the same time I knew what my legs were capable of... Mixed feelings for sure.
I probably burped the tubeless tire, then pinch flatted (rim shaped puncture in the middle of the tread), the second flat was a pinched tube.
The team is awesome, I really like my teammates and everyone is fast. Someone always has a great race, so that excitement we all share.
Sea Otter is up next. The training is there, I just need to show up, I need my legs to show up, I need to stay on the bike and keep air in my tires!