May 1, 2008 · Print This Article

By Shannon Edson
Fort Collins, Colorado

MSC Race #1, Fruita, Colorado

After the TT the day before, I was a little bummed out. I hadn’t finished as well as I would have liked, and my descending was tentative. But, Sunday was a new day, and I had to focus on the task at hand – the XC. I had a good warm-up, and my legs felt surprisingly good. It made such a difference having teammates around. I rode around with Jen for a bit, and then it was time to head to the line. The pro field was pretty big for an MSC race, and all the fast girls were out to play.

I had pre-ridden the course the weekend before, and this helped my confidence. It was a great course! It snaked around the Western Rim Trail on the border between Colorado and Utah. The views were breathtaking, and the singletrack was very fast.

As I stood on the line, I envisioned the course and myself riding with perfect control. The race official went over the race reminders, and before I knew it, I was racing again. I had a good start; I am determined to make this a strength. After about five minutes, I had spiked my HR, and I just needed to settle in. I rode steady and about fifteen minutes in, we came to big drop.

When I pre-rode the course, it didn’t look like the race would go this way, so I hadn’t practiced it. I saw a girl ahead of me bomb down it, so I leaned back and rolled through. I made it to the Western Rim Trail and surprised myself with the my technical skills. I definitely had more control than the day before.

When I hit the turn, I saw a girl who had consistently finished ahead of me last season as an expert. I dug in and caught her. This boosted my confidence, and I set my sights up the sandy road. On the last push before the finish, I could see two more women. I gave all that I had and caught one before the finish. I ended up thirteen seconds away from the one further up the road.

I was pleased. At camp, Alex said, "A good goal to have as a first year pro is just to feel like you belong in the field." I felt that way today, and I hope to only build from here.

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