Four of us made it down to the inaugural Mellow Johnny's Classic at Juan Pelota Ranch. El Guapo put on a bike-handling clinic for the Cat 2 30-34 class and pulled off a win despite being a bit out of shape. Mr. Manganese (Brandon) and I raced in a large Cat 2 35-39 class along with Todd Murphy. Todd's brother talked him into racing some dirt, and he picked a good one for his first mountain bike race.
The trail was a blast. Four inches of rain on Friday made for lots of slick rocks and several mud bogs. There were some great downhill sections and plenty of long, sustained climbs.
After check-in Saturday, we considered skipping our planned pre-ride lap to avoid having to figure out how to clean the bikes. But, what fun would that be? Luckily, we were able to hose the bikes down right in front of the Radisson in downtown Austin.
The Cat 2 race was early Sunday morning before the sun had burned off the overnight fog, so the trail was still as wet as the day before. Call-ups were by registration order (I think), so I started near the back of a big field. I drilled it at the start and made my way up to around 15th by the time we hit the technical singletrack. I kept picking people off when I could, but as I was soon catching riders from earlier groups, I had no idea how many were left in front of me. All I could do was keep pushing. Climbing towards the finish, I caught and passed Pedro (sorry man, I couldn't leave that out) and knew I had to be near the front. Close but not quite. I finished second.
We hung around for the Pro race later in the day to watch and snap a few photos. I got one decent shot of Lance before he flatted out (click the photo for a larger version). Check Pedro's Smugmug site for more. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, the 2009 XC National Champ, dominated the Pro race. Wow! Fast! I can't wait 'til next year.