On Friday, I left school at around 1:00 to get to the preride. I arrived at the course at around 3:00 ready to go. I hopped on my bike, and went out on the first preride feeling pretty good about the uphills but concerned about the downhills. After preriding the course, I went back to the hotel, relaxed for a bit, then went to Louie’s for dinner. After dinner, I went home and went to sleep.
I woke up in the morning at around 8:00 ready to go. I packed up my stuff, hopped in the car and drove to the race course. When I got to the race course, I got some oatmeal before I was notified that Oakland composite could do the national anthem. I was interested so I ended up dragging Max Pryor up to the starting line to tell Coco that Oakland composite was going to do the national anthem and that they should come up. After a little bit of waiting, everybody came and we sung the national anthem. I watched all of the girls race starts and returned to the pit to warm up. I put my bike on the trainer and spun up, following coach tom’s instructions for warm ups and by the end of it I felt pretty good. About 15 minutes after the end of warm-up I went to the start and lined up in the call-ups section with Arlo. I had 7th call-up which was pretty cool and I was excited when I lined up on the starting line, ready to go. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1. GO! I was off, I felt pretty good as I raced up the hill, by the time we were at the top, I was feeling good and was in 5th place. When we went around the corner and went down the hill, I lost a couple places because I’m not that good at descending. Once we got back on to the dirt, I started passing people and moving my way up. Just as I was going down a downhill in the middle of the lap, I realized somebody had crashed on a downhill turn and was standing on the edge of the small single track. I went close to the hill to try not to hit them, but I ended up clipping the side of the hill, rolling off my bike and hitting my left elbow on the ground. I quickly hopped on my bike and continued on, but it was really hard to put weight on my elbow because it really hurt when I did. Luckily, we started on the uphill where I went really fast and started passing some D1 Kids. I finished my first lap in 9th place pretty tired after hurl hill and the sprint afterwards and I ended up losing a place to somebody. After that, I was back on the downhills and had trouble descending because of my arm and gave up a couple of places. Eventually, Arlo (who was on my tail most of the race) passed me and began to pull ahead by a lot. I continued having trouble descending, and by the time the downhills were over, I was probably 150 yards away from him. When I got to the hills, I broke into a sprint and started making up a lot of ground. I passed around 8 people and ended up catching up to and passing Arlo right before the beginning of hurl hill. I sprinted up hurl hill and continued on slightly tired but very much motivated. Once I got to the bottom of the hill leading up to the feed zone, I started my sprint. I quickly sped up and started closing in on the rider in front of me. As I got onto the final downhill before the flat near the finish, I realized that it was hard to breathe because I was working so hard, despite that I continued. I pushed on and passed the rider in front of me and crossed the finish line. I continued on to the stop area and layed down my bike and collapsed. I ended up getting 10th place despite my setbacks, which was pretty awesome. My arm really hurt and I ended up having to go to the medical tent to get a sling for it. After that, I went back to the tent and hung out with my friends. At around 2:00 I decided that I wanted to go home, so I could get my arm checked out. Sadly, the story doesn’t end here and after a long wait in the emergency room, I was told that I had fractured my elbow. I’m pretty bummed about that and I’m going to probably not going to be able to ride the next 1-2 races which sucks. Luckily, I had a good race, and I have a trainer at home so I can get stronger and faster for the next race I can race in. I’m trying to stay optimistic about the situation and hope to get better as soon as possible so I can resume riding with the rest of the team.
What went well:
I felt strong on the uphills and flats and I felt that I could really power through anything, especially the sprint at the end.
What I want to work on:
I need to work on descending and passing because I struggled with both of those and those two things led to me losing places and eventually crashing. I think I could also learn how to drink more during the race because that was kind of hard for me. I think being more intensive on bike skills for me could really help me, possibly even more than straight up working out at this point.
Lucas Binder, freshman boys, Oakland Composite 10 / 40