WORS #3 BRC / Home Race
WORS #3 Big Ring Classic Sunday June 03, 2012
by: Casey Hildebrandt
Photo cred: Gary Smits (xtrphoto.com). This is one of the few races I get to preride each year, since it's a few miles away from residency. 8 hour work day, followed by a few laps of pre-riding the best WORS Wausau course I've ever seen put together.
Once again, I missed my leading callup for juniors, but either way we still start back row behind, in this case, 70 elite men. I was cruising some of the best singletrack 9 mile has to offer, on the east side of Red Bud Rd.
There was a little different start loop with few 90's mixed in there before heading down the ski trail. We even hit some singletrack before the long ski hill, Bitch 1. Managed to pass maybe thirty or fourty guys right away and settle in the singletrack. Hit the ski trails hammering trying to stay with the fast guys. End of lap 1, sitting inside top 20 in elite.
Probably went out a little hard, lap two I got passed by another Wausau native junior on the Alps before heading into Ho Chi Minh and got gapped pretty good. End of lap 2 I threw down a big effort but couldn't quite close it down all the way. Yikes. Legs were killing.
Start of lap 3 the gap was just under 30 seconds. On the alps where I got passed on lap 2, my dad and lil bro gave me info the gap was now 3 minutes, panic. My mind was out of it. 2:30 lost in a few miles? Legs started cramping just standing up and coasting over the rough singletrack. Kept it right under severe hurt and thought I was done. Got word later in the lap with about 1.5 miles to go the gap was 40 seconds. Before the last section of singletrack the gap was 10 seconds. I pinned possibly my favorite section there and closed it down. Managed to get the sprint finish win for the home crowd over Fletcher Arlen, wausau native, friend, and dang fast young 15 year old kid. Keep your eyes out for him as he only gets faster.
Thanks everyone for all the cheering, support, encouragement, and everything else. Definitely helped me dig deep and get my second win in three series races. Shout out to all the locals who are always out there working on the trails and making sure they're primo for the race. All your hard work shows off as this is one of the top drawing races each year, thanks! Looking forward to the upcoming month of racing and leaving for Nationals at the end of June.