Chris Winn: Ramblings From The Road


06 June 2007

Lessons Learned On A Blue Sky Ride

Well this was it folks..the last race in the US before jumping aboard that big bird in the sky to take me away from the town, people and the lifestyle that I was loving over the past 6weeks. The Teva Mountain Games was cool. Super cool to be more exact. There was just crazy stuff going on everywhere in Vail village...from VW test drives, free chicken and Starbucks, kayak try-outs, rockclimbing walls and demo rides on Trek's..just to name a few. So needless to say i was pretty amped to make this last one count, and in the back of my mind avenge the start-line mechanical last weekend where i had some decent legs to play with.

The field was stacked..well with $2500US up for da big W, why the hell wouldn't you have a crack? There were some big names in there too, the altitude specialist J Henry was the hot favourite, alongside Trek hitters Rad R and T-Brown. Pretty cool to line up with mtb legend Ned Overend in the field too..still pinnin' at 51years old. Oh that Floyd guys was on the front row too...good work to the Green who stood behind him during his press interviews wearing his dopers suck shirt..needless to say a few people fired up...good old' Green..i mean what were they going to do..we flew out the next day! Oh yeah, the race. With three laps of a 7mile loop to do, climbing 1500ft per lap it was another day at altitude - starting at 8100ft I think- and was a good mix of techy singletrack, long climbs and fireroad.

Getting a good one off the start I was on Floyd's wheel up the first fireroad climb, till my dopers suck wrist bands reminded me of bigger, better and cleaner motivation than to stay here and i moved further up the pack to the quickly forming lead group. By this stage Rad (Trek/VW) was already laying the smack down hard with Jungle Jay (Tokyo Joes) in tow. Awesome. Coming into the first singletrack I was following the legend himself, big Ned, and couldn't help but thinking about just reading his book from the supercoach just before I left. With the legs and body on full peak the end of the first lap I settled in with Brian Smith and another mtb legend T-Brown, running 4th, 5th and 6th places. Maybe it was the excitement of who I was racing with or the fact that this was the last race in the US, but the legs were on thier game...big time. I was having my 'blue-sky-purple-patch-golden-rainbow-smiley-face' day. Second lap T-Brown and I had dropped Brian on the climb and things were going schweet as.

Sometimes little mistakes can make or break a race, so when I cleared a technical uphill switchback and TB didn't, I somehow gained a little gap...and went on the offensive straight away. With one lap remaining it was all or none to try and hold down fourth and what would be a career best result for sure. So when I caught and attacked a fading 3rd place right at the top of the climb it was game on for a loose but controlled (yeah that makes sense) descent into the finish. Things were looking great for a third place finish behind Henry and Rad Ross. But it ain't over till its over...and when I came pinning into the wrong start finish line chute, realising the mistake i made and had to go back around my third had turned quickly into fifth. I guess the easy thing would be to beat myself up over such a stupid mistake, but hey, mistakes are good if you learn from them...and I sure as hell did learn the hard way. Still, the positive was I knew the ride and legs I had for the 'unofficial' place and that the exciting it was another US podium and paycheck..sweet as.

So that concludes the US tour of duty....and I had a ball..thanks to all those who supported us both from home and in the US...this guy is hooked. Cheers everyone...lator cw.


Ash Thomas said...

Hell man, what can you say to that. Well done I guess would be a good start...!! Nice work tiger, made it all worth those 5am landscaping days and solo saddle days.

Thanks for letting us be a part of it to through this interweb thingo.

Rock on mate, and see if you can find a photo of green behind flandis in the dopers suck shirt. Gold!!

Gunsle said...

Hey Winny, I love this comment

'I was on Floyd's wheel up the first fireroad climb, till my dopers suck wrist bands reminded me of bigger, better and cleaner motivation than to stay here and i moved further up the pack to the quickly forming lead group'

Pure Gold Mate, Pure Gold!

Congrats and welcome home.


Scott Liston said...

Hey Chris

Siiiiiick. bad luck about the misshap, I suppose those things are going to happen everynow and then.

Murphys Law: Random Shit is happens.

I hope your enjoying the warm weather there in the states because its pretty damn cold down here.

Anonymous said...

That jersy yeah the aust one.isn't that like the 03 model.ya can't be runnnin old shit like that. when it done your dun. run the new one when ya ern it........try hard

Chris Winn said...

thanks lad..hopefully catch up with all you guys soon for sure..hope all is