2015 Pisgah Day FourWhen I look back on my Pisgah memories, a few trails always stick in my mind… Squirrel Gap, Laurel Mountain, Pilot Rock, Farlow Gap, etc. Today we did the first three. Granted there was a bit of double track at beginning and in the middle but the majority of time was spent negotiating bench cut knar. Roots, rocks–repeat.

The stage began with some downhillish fireroad and I managed to stick the front group. Oddly I had told Jeff I didn’t plan to ride until Laurel (more than halfway through) but now it was game on a mile into the race. I found a group on the long traverse to Horse Cove and sat in a bit to recover from the mad dash at the start. I am not sure what the tactic garnered but over the years I’ve gotten a sense of how to surf the sharp end of a race and so it was today.Stage Four PodeoI picked off rider after rider first on the Horse Cove descent then on the long, challenging squirrel gap traverse. Soon I was into the top ten overall and continuing to move forward. Not one to rest on my laurels I pressed on through the aid station and into the long climb to Pilot Rock. For a change this week it was sunny and warmer most of the day but near the top, the sky opened with a torrential downpour. As I rolled into the ENDURO segment the trail had morphed into a stream and the spray from below combined with the sheeting rain/hail mix from the sky extinguished any hope of a competitive run.

I survived the descent and painfully cranked out the remaining miles of fireroad to the finish. With two stage wins I feel vindicated but yet there is still one stage to go. The dull ache of fatigue set in today so while I can’t wait to get a little Farlow on my Ripley, it will be nice to roll back into Brevard tomorrow!

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