Sherwood Equestrian Center was the place to be yesterday if you raced mountain bikes in the Short Track discipline. To the uninitiated, here's the wiki on STXC:
"Short track Cross-country - Short Track Cross Country (XCC). A very short XC style event of about 800m in length but generally about 1 minute 30 seconds in winning time. A short, sharp exciting event to watch and participate in."
The course was dry and bumpy, starting in mowed stubble and some sweeping off camber turns before descending into some dirt single and doubletrack. A few bumpy straights and short rollers then led to a short but steep little dirt kicker uphill then a short gravel road climb before turning left and a slight downhill run to the start/finish.
Exciting was the key word today. The Cat 3 races started at 11:00 am. Mielle led out in strong Cyclisme/Word-RCB style; that is started at the front and pinned it. She led from wire-to-wire and is the newly crowned Cat 3 Womens OBRA STXC Champion! Mielle led a dominant race, and it was exciting to watch her clean riding, and put a huge gap on her chasers.
Our MTB junior crew was also present. DeyShaun Lee rode a very solid and clean race, finishing just off of the podium. Naiqwan went down on a tricky turn in the first lap, snapping off his rear brake lever and having to pull out of the race.
Dave Wingard and I represented Word-RCB in the 11:30 Cat 2 Masters 45+ field. I lined up front and got a good start, almost nailing the holeshot, and getting to the dirt second wheel. I caught the leader, then ended up staying off the front, with Joe Field right on my wheel every climb, but I would get a 50 yard gap or so on every descent (at least that's what he told me after the race). Joe and I established a large gap on the field, but he had more in the tank at the end than I did, and pulled away from me on the finishing climb to solo in for the win while I took 2nd.
Csaba raced in the Cat 2 Masters 35-44 field, but regretfully I had to get home and didn't see his race.
All in all an good day in the dirt, and a promising look at what is hopefully to come this cyclocross season!