I placed 12th in the Teva games, which I was fine with, and 18th in the Colorado Springs race which I am not at all happy about. This was my first trip to the Teva games and it was pretty cool. We could watch climbing, kayaking and dog jumping right there in the venue; but I'm not sure if anyone even knew there was a bike race going on since it took place on the outskirts of the village. Todd and I stayed in Breckenridge because there is no place for the motorhome in Vail. I LOVE the Frisco/Breckenridge area! There are bike paths and trails everywhere; there is even a paved bike path that goes all the way to Vail (I heard it goes on to Glenwood Springs).
My very poor attempt at taking a picture of a kayaker
The Teva games XC course was a pretty typical ski hill course with lots of fire road climbing. The downhill was the best part of the course but didn't seem to last long enough which was both good and bad; if you were behind a slow descender you didn't have to wait long before it opened up so you could pass.
The Colorado Springs course just was the opposite. It was a really fun course, all single track (albeit wider at the bottom) with lots of rock gardens and techy sections. This made it difficult to pass if there was a line of people in front of you. I spent more time trackstanding in the race than all the races I've ever done combined; great practice for my skills clinics but horrible for a National race. Allison did a good write up of how it felt on the course and the confusion at the start.
To make things worse, they came up with the craziest start scenario I've ever seen. In an attempt to spread things out for the pros and to meet UCI regulations, they lined us up facing backwards at the Start/Finish, “paraded” us over to a remote start, which funneled us through a narrow opening in the gates and ultimately had us lined up in the opposite direction, completely reshuffled. It was here that they let us know we’d be doing one lap fewer than originally posted, and that we’d be doing a much shorter parade lap than stated on the course description. Instead, they sent us up a twisty paved road with gates up the middle (effectively a yellow-line rule), had us do a tight U-turn, sent us back down on the other side of the same road, then through the original start/finish and into the single track. Quite a few of us in the second half of the field had to put a foot down and wait at the U-turn.
By doing this, they not only failed to spread the field out, they also violated UCI regulations by changing the course within 24 hours of the race start and by shortening the race to less than an hour and forty five minutes average; not to mention refusing to have a manager’s meeting the day before, another UCI regulation. Oh well. My legs didn't feel all that fast anyway, but I was moving up the entire race and could have used another lap.
The best part of traveling is meeting new and old friends. Thank you Jeff and Cammie Kennedy for all the help while we were here, course info, road workout routes, coffee shop, tour of downtown and BBQ! Next up I’m headed to Durango to see family, then driving to Albuquerque where I’ll catch a plane to TN for my brother's wedding (I need to get rid of this farmer's tan!), then back to Breckenridge for the Firecracker 50; this will be my first marathon race and I have no idea what to expect.