It felt weird to get up for a cross country race in October. Even weirder to get there four hours early to watch my Dad run the half marathon (Go Dad!) before all the races started. I actually got an extra hour of sleep in the car before I went to pre-ride the course. The Granite Bay course had finally dampened with the heavy rain a few weeks before, so the trails were nice and moist, which was a nice change from the summer dust. I felt awesome, and the weather was also…awesome. My bike? Awesome. The turnout? Awesome.
So, if it’s not too obvious, I was pretty stoked on the Sierra Nevada State Champs. It was on my home course and pretty much everything that day went awesome. There were 5 other 13-14 girls on the start line with me, and I’d never raced against any of them before, so I didn’t really know what to expect. My category also started with the cat 3 high school girls, and I didn’t know if I’d get to race with them either. But when the starter yelled “On your mark…Set…GO!” I hit the big ring on the sand start and found myself off the front of the pack immediately.
I didn’t look back when I hit the main climb, and in the first rock garden I was already passing the junior guys who’d started in the wave ahead of me. I learned (or was reminded of) the poor sportsmanship some young boys show when they realize they’re about to get passed by a girl (OH NO!!!!!!)
At the top of the course I was feeling awesome (yes…awesome). My Toa’s racy stiffness is perfectly crafted to destroy the climbs. I was feeling fast and loose on the descent, barely in control of my rear wheel around the turns. If it weren’t for that rad tacky dirt, I’d have crashed for sure. I didn’t know how far ahead I was, but I did know I wanted to be farther. I was pushing a huge gear on the flat section coming into the start/finish, and my legs were just starting to get to the point where I was feeling my gear choice.
I was still fighting my way through the junior boys all through my last lap, but I needed to pick up the pace. Easier said than done considering how difficult some of the boys were when it came to getting passed (by a GIRL!!!!!). By the top of the course I was through most of them and I was ready to pin the descent and flat into the finish. I knew this course so well I was fully willing to take some serious risks. I’ll admit that the downhilling I did at Northstar over the summer saved my butt a few times.
It was an awesome feeling to cross the finish line and hold my hands above my head. This would be my last cross country race as a Junior. Next year I’ll be a Cat 2 15-18. A State Championship win was a great way to end my last Junior season. I’m so proud of my accomplishments in Junior and I’m stoked to move up to 15-18.
After the racing was done I cooled off in the lake with some friends; Ventana racer Cayla Crockell and Mad Cat teammate John Bickel. We ended up headed to the podium completely soaked after an epic splash fight (you know, ‘cause we’re 5 years old and everything)
By the end of the day I was sore, exhausted (probably stinky) and pretty freaking stoked. It was an awesome day and I had an awesome race.
Congrats to Cayla for her 11-12 girls win and John for his 2nd place finish in the 11-12 boys. Thanks to my sponsors, teammates and family for the support and of course my Toa for once again delivering me to the finish line in one piece and taking the win.
Keep chasing…..
Well, That Was Awesome (Sierra Nevada State Champs)

One thought on “Well, That Was Awesome (Sierra Nevada State Champs)

  • November 1, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Way to end the Junior season Avery and thanks for the great tip to big ring the sand start. We'll be sure to share that with our Placer Foothill Mountain Bike Team! Congratulations Ave!


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