The Capital City MTB Challenge was held at Branched Oak State Park Area 7, and was the first Psycowpath race held near Lincoln in several years. I had ridden this trail many times, and enjoyed it, but always felt it paled a little in comparison to Area 1. However, in the weeks preceding the race, the promoters had done a lot of work and made it a very fast, fun race course.
The course was very different from most in the series in that the lap was very short. This meant that the race was 4 laps instead of 2 laps like all the others. My training had been very lax since the previous race and I really didn't know what to expect from my body.
This tells you all you need to know about my day...
I shouldn't have expected much. Either as a concession to the relatively short lap, or perhaps to spread the field, there was a mile long gravel lead out before hitting the singletrack. Right after the gun Dan turned on the jets and I knew I was in trouble. It wasn't long before I was in third, then fourth, and then shortly after that I went over the handlebars on a section I had ridden a dozen times. All this in the first 10 minutes of Lap 1. By the time Lap 4 and the race concluded, I was solidly in 6th and worst of all never felt like I was in any way competitive finishing 6 minutes back from 1st place in a hour long race.
On the bright side, it was a beautiful morning riding my bike, my wife came out and watched, and I met some new people. What do I have to complain about?