Putting the ! in Wisco!
Back in Wisconsin, I managed to hold the lead for the next three laps, but only by about fifteen seconds. Pua was behind me until lap five when Amanda made a late-race charge to take over second. I caught a glimpse of Amanda in the trees as we started the descent toward the finish. I knew I had to keep smooth or risk balling it up somewhere and getting passed. Canucks are known on the circuit for their technical skills – that and their bacon. She had an opportunity to make time on me in the descent if I let her.
The cheers for Amanda closely followed those for me even as we headed into the last technical section called the “Firelane,” just minutes from the finish. With potentials to flat or bobble in the rock gardens up to almost the very end, nothing was certain in my book.
But when I hit that final stretch of grass and the last 100 meters, I let it sink in. I just got my first national win.
I got to give the victory salute I practiced at the Mellow Johnny’s race in Texas. The final product ended up being nothing too spectacular — just a hands up and random Mick Jagger style clap thrown in.
Receiving an Honorary Cheesehead on the podium finished up the day on the bike.
And that put the exclamation point on my season that I hoped for after pulling sweep in the national championships.