The next weekend in La Bresse was my last chance. I pretty much needed to light the world on fire, or at least enough of my competitors to finish up near the podium to salvage any hope of Olympic Glory.
To this end, I rode my trusty XTC 29er hardtail all week and limited time spent exploring the Hautes Vosges region’s never-ending supply of amazing singletrack. Which, it turns out has such awesome tracks and lines burned in because Remy Absalon holds a two-day Enduro event there every June. Smart guy.
Again, average start. Actually below average. Somewhere around 100th after the start lap melee. Although, interestingly, Burry Stander had some mishaps at the start and we were together in the cheap seats on the first large (by modern World Cup standards) climb of the day so I had a good marker to see just how far someone who’s actually fast could go from said seats…
Turns out it’s possible to get 24th from the back. Good to know, Burry. Actually, I used to be able to do that… I rode decent, passed about 50 guys and ended up 52nd. Still the 5th American. We all finished within a few spots and minutes, nearly a lap down on hometown boy Julien Absalon. His convincing win on a track designed by his brother and 20k from his home of Remiremont warmed my heart.
I’ll say it again, he’s a good bike rider.
Ok, that was Europe and not making the Olympic Team. Let’s move on.
Next up, a week off the bike, which flew by. There are a lot of things to catch up with on the home front after a few months abroad, like going snowmobiling with the boys after a surprise 18″ dump on May 24th.
Back on the bike it was time to just ride the thing. No power meter, no intervals, just riding the terrain as it dictated. Sometimes on the singlespeed — that meant really hard. Other times, on the road bike on gravel with some Aussie prick on race tires, it meant a lot of creative flat tire repairs.
Either way, bike riding is ace in my book.