UT State MTB Championships – Deer Valley, UT

Deer Valley Resort still has plenty of snow at the base!
I did learn my lesson last week. What a race today!!! I am pretty excited to have just won the Utah State Championship race.
The Pro Women’s field was comprised of some strong Utah talent along with the current Australian XC and STXC National Champion who had just arrived into town. It was anyone’s guess as to who would roll across the line in first…..especially mine after last weekend. I had to screw my head back on straight after that one and I luckily I was able to just in time. It actually took me a while to get my body back after digging such a hole at the Teva Games and that meant doing intervals on consecutive days late in the week. GREAT – not the best way to prepare for a race but maybe it was?!! The body is always changing to keep one guessing!
How things can change from week to week, day to day, hour to hour and…. ok, even year to year in this sport. This is why you rely on yourself, your race knowledge and your training to keep plugging away at what you love to do, because you never know.  What worked one time may not the next and visa versa.
Cool award/keychain
The race started with a super steep climb right off the bat. It was similar to the start of MTB Nationals in Granby, CO last year. You also got to hit this steep section right after standing around for race start and getting warmed…..ugh…DOWN. Ouch. But this kind of scenario is what got me last week at Teva when I went for it on the climb right away, so this week I decided to just chill–ax on the climb and ride my own race up it and go from there. The climb was short lived so this idea was not such a bad one.
Off the line I settled into my own rhythm, then started the climb and purposefully did not redline (this is pretty much a first in my career to do this). It was hard to hold back but I was seriously scarred from last weekend so it wasn’t THAT hard to do. I knew my body would be happy I did it this way since we were at 7100 feet!
Katherine (AUS) was able to get in front of me on this section which allowed me to see my competition for the first time as she was wearing our version of the Stars and Bars jersey, but for Australia!! Ah heck ya, this was going to be fun!!!!! Ok, I know that is just sick and wrong but I was feeling good, was ready to race and was ready have some throw downs going on while I was at it. And that is exactly what I got.
I kept her in sight until we got down to the bottom of the Deer Crest Chairlift and that is when I used a solid transition to the next climb and big gear to push past her. I didn’t get too far in front as we made our way back up to Deer Crest and on up to the top of Heinous Hill. There was PLENTY of traffic from all the other fields to get through which added and interesting element to the race. That was almost half the battle trying to time your attacks to get through the other categories safely and effectively. Don’t want to burn a match unless you have to and it needs to stick if you do! As I went through other categories she was quick to follow always keeping me in sight. It was great!
That kept me on my toes and forced me to push harder on the climbs and DH for the rest of the race allowing me to grow a big enough gap to seal the victory!!!! It has been a while since I have been the Utah State Champion and it feels good!
People kept telling me I had the "Eye of the Tiger" look. Thx for the pic Melissa Perry!
It was so nice to feel so confident in a race and feel like myself again as compared to last week.  In addition, I can’t tell you how good it feels to completely and whole heartedly depend on your bike and equipment 110%. When you are ripping down the DH taking corners in the woods like a bat outta hell you HAVE to depend on your equipment!!!  From your tires, frame, wheels, to the proper shifting all the way down to your grips and pedals. The Stan’s NoTubes EliteWomen’s Team is so lucky to have some of the best product out there which makes it easy to just simply......race.
Bump skiing anyone?  June?  Really?  Wow.

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