Did a pre-ride of the course on Thursday and it was pretty much the same course I have ridden 30 times. It is my favorite MI course, and I know it well. Boyne was actually the second MTB course I had ever ridden, right beind Island Lake. That was 5 years ago when I decided to start MTBing and rode only a few trails and times that year. Progression...
Race started at 10AM with a decent sized group of Elites going off. We took off and I just sat in and kept my pace. Some people went by me and I let them ride away. By the top of the ski slop I was riding with Shawn Meredith somewhere in the 7-8 place. On the downhill, I crashed and I guess he did too, not far behind me as I could hear him say something. On lap 2 I rode solo the entire time while making the passes of lapped riders much earlier than expected. At the start of the thirs lap I caught up to John Meyers and rode behind him. Before the hike-a-bike climb a mile or so in he had me go by. Not too far up the trail I caught John Cowan and rode with him. He set a good pace and flowed through the singletrack very well(yeah, he's from Boyne). We were riding 4th and 5th place. Climbing to the top of the ski hill, we spotted Herriman and Lummis, but never saw them once we got to the top. Near the end of the lap while passing more people on a wide corner, I flew into a tree sideways and tried to hug it in an effort to reducing the impact on my ribs. Luckily I wasn't too hurt, so I grabbed my bike and chased. I caught John again in the beginning of the trail and rode with him until the ski hill where I let it out. I laft him behind and had Lummis in my sights. I passed him before crossing the golf cart path and kept on climbing. I came out at the top and was ready to keep the pace high when I heard skipping. Shit, I looked back and had picked up and bush in my casette. There were leaves in it and a thin branch hanging out. I knew I couldn't stop, so I pedaled away with a skip-skip-skip every pedal stroke. Luckily the course was mostly downhill and I was able to keep away. i finished third with Simonson in first and Herriman in second. It was a great race for me. The course is suited better for my riding with longer climbs and less flat two-track.
The lovely color of green ground into my casette
No Ruby for me this weekend, but I'll be putting in some last minute rides before heading out to the USA Cycling Nationals in Vermont in 2 weeks.