We went out for a quick pre-ride of the course to check conditions. It was wet but the dirt wasn't sticky. I realized about 5 min into the pre-ride that I was going to be in trouble with my gearing. The 34x20 was too much for that initial climb up Little Stick. It didn't help my confidence that Brad was running the same gearing and was considering a switch.
I lined up with the single speeders. They had us starting with the 19-29 Expert group and just in front of the 40+ Experts. Which meant that Brad and other fast guys were starting right behind me. Single speeders did 2 laps and the Experts did 3. Usually at the start line, Ed will give the SS class the option of doing the 3rd lap. I was glad that conversation never happened as we lined up.
I didn't want to start off too fast with that steep climb. I knew I would probably blow up if I did, so I settled into 4th position, put my head down, and worked my way up the Little Stick climb. It was brutal. I was totally on the edge and was having bad thoughts. I didn't notice that I had passed one of the other single speeders on the initial climb which meant I was now in the 3rd spot.
Half way through lap one, I caught the wheel of another SS rider and was able to pass him on one of the downhill sections which meant I was now riding in 2nd spot.
I held on for a 2nd place finish which is my best result so far this year.
I feel like my quads have ripped off the bone. Little Stick hurt me.