I packed up the car headed up to Eau Claire, Wisconsin this past weekend for the 4th annual WORS Chippewa Valley Firecracker. I arrived saturday afternoon allowing time to pre ride the course and mingle in the race expo area. This race is probably one of the best that the Wisconsin Off Road Series puts on and therefore well worth the 5-6 hour drive. This year the course was over 80% fast technical single track. The race started out like a drag race that led through the expo area and out into a large grass land where the “peleton” turned into a long snake. The fire road lead us into a fast weave through a patch of pine trees that begun to split up the pack. The raced stayed fast as the we hit the first creek crossing and up to the first techincal switch back singletrack climb. The rest of the race was full of rolling singletrack along the sides of ravines, cliffs, and creeks. Probably the most notable part of the course was a section of downhill called the Onion. The Onion was a set of steep sharp switchbacks with amazing camber turns, at the end of the downhill switch backs was a almost 80% stone decline for about 10 feet. My race consisted of two 8 mile laps of this course.
Heres a video of my race:
My race started off with the extrmely fast 24mph+ start through the expo center. I was sure i was going to be dropped but the strong head wind that the front of the pack faced kept everyone togeather that is until we hit the single track. My legs stayed strong through the first set of climbs but died on me at the last section of fireroads. As i came around through the expo center to start my last lap my handoff person was no where to be found in the confusion of the bustling expo area. The start of the second lap was different than the first instead of a fast fire road we were lead into a small forsest full of log jumps and trangles.
It was in this section where my raced ended. Riding through this section I lead a small group of 5 riders. As we moved through a sharp turn the rider behind me carried to much speed into the turn and ended up running into my rear wheel throwing me off the trail and into a tree which caught my knee. The rider that hit me was able to regain control and continued on with the other racers. After gathering my wits i tried to stand up and had great pain in my knee which was extremly burised and already swollen! A spectator came to my side and helped me up. I thought the injury wasnt that bad after the pain subsided after a couple minutes rest after the crash. I remounted and attempted to get back in my race. With every peadal stroke my knee shoot pain through my body and when i couldnt climb a small hill i knew my injury wouldnt let me finsih the race. My First DNF ever since becoming a competitive racer! Hopefully it will never happen again (knock on wood).