Pine Mountain Crusher Cup Race Report
Pine Mountain Crusher Cup
For this round of the Crusher Cup, the course was much shorter and so we all knew going in that was going to mean a much faster overall race because we didn’t need to hold as much in the tank for long distance.
The race started just above Brown’s Bridge and winded up towards the Pine Mountain loop. The cast of characters was similar this week but a fast opening pace whittled the field down to just 5 pretty early on; Jim, Phil, Sean, myself, and Ryan. As we moved towards the top of San Geronimo ridge, Phil and I were taking the lead and really stringing Sean, Jim, and Ryan out behind us.
Nearing the end of the fireroad, there was a pretty technically intensive section of uphill that I hit with full speed and managed to pull away with a solid 15 or 20 second gap. On the following flatter sections, Phil caught up to me and we were now leading with the other three following about 30 seconds back.
As we began the Pine Mountain loop, Sean bridged up to the front group before we began the very technical and demanding singletrack descent to the lake at the bottom of the loop. Our lead proved to be not enough to hold off a flying group of Jim and Ryan, who flew by as pulling away by almost 2 minutes by the bottom.
I thought that we may have lost the race on that descent but decided not to give up and hit the following climb hard, sprinting away from Sean and Phil, to try and catch Jim and Ryan. I caught both of them with about 2 minutes of climbing to go and rode right past them trying to get as much distance before the next singletrack descent.
I managed to keep my lead through the next singletrack and was with Jim as we entered the steepest climb of the race, returning us to the top of the trail we had just ridden. I hit this climb hard as well and pulled away from Jim, knowing this was the last, albeit long, climb of the race.
I only saw Jim once more during the race on a particularly open section of trail when I looked back to see him across the ridge and just put my head down and sprinted through the final bit of the climb.
I cruised through the final descent and finished about 30 seconds ahead of Jim with Sean coming in 3rd not that much farther back.
It was a super fun race again and I can’t wait for round 3 to be announced.