I have not raced here in years, maybe 2009 was last time I was here so I decided I would definately do this race. I watched the weather and pre reg'd.. I was looking forward to racing a smoother course since Michaux and Jungle got the best of me.. Although I don't remember all of Williams Lake course I don't remember it being rocky and I do remember a nice hill climb which I was actually looking forward to.
So I get to the venue nice and early,, 2 hours early easy.. Register and suit up to take a full pre ride lap. 4.2 mile lap so I figure thats short enough to pre ride. Ends up my idea on not rocky and hill climb are completely wrong. The climb was removed and rocky chunkiness was added.. OH BOY here we go again..
At the race start we, 35 plus, are lined up behind 19-34, then Singlespeed then Pro. Looks like 20 or more of us. I am lined up next to John Favata who I have not seen or spoken to in ages so a handshake was appropriate. Race starts and we are off around the grass field and up a fire road.. I jumped out front followed by Jergen Beneke and Rob Dedora. Rob made it up the first switch back climb first before Jergen and I passed and at that point Jergen took the lead for the entire first lap while I struggled to hold onto his wheel. By the time we came through the start finish I took a glance back and could not see anyone in our group. We had made a pretty decent gap. at this time I jumped in front of Jergen to take a pull.. After the climb from the start I noticed he was falling back a bit so I decided to keep the pressure on.. I felt like I still had plenty of un-used candles so why not. This method proved effective as I did walk slowly away from Jergen.. I started making my way through some other riders as well.. 4 laps total and by the time I was nearing up on the completion of lap 3 I see Jergen in my rear view.. I was not sure if I had slowed up a bit or maybe he took a second wind but I knew I had basically one plus lap to go and needed to cover ground quick with precision in order to hold my spot.. I pressed on working with a fast singlespeeder and trading places with Dillon a short while.. I came through the finish line,, 1st place.. Race completed.. I ran over to a nuetral support tent that had ice cold water as my bottles were boiling.. it was here I was met by Rob Dedora who congratualted me on my win, saying he and Esteban were close behind but struggled to fill the gap.. we chatted a bit and then off the change and wait for results and awards..
Now is where the fun begins..I look at our results, along with Rob and Esteban.. They have some guy,, Rob Rusha, listed as first place in our group.. Now,, top 3 positions pretty much always know where they are,, especially in a short XC race.. I know I was out front with Jergen and know one else was.. So who is this guy ? Rob or esteban have no idea.. I present this to Tim as scoring and he checks out some numbers,, calls this guy to the tent.. he shows up,, tall guy.. We asked him about the race,, all he could say was he remembers going of the first climb with the front of the group.. We looked over the numbers more.. Ends up he started with the 19-34 group,, 1 minute ahead of us,,, AND according to Tim shoepen,, was finishing laps 6 minutes and then 10 minutes faster than us,, proving course cutting.. What a joker !!!!! AND,, this course cutting was not the only one found.. Some other racers reported it as well. I am not sure I have ever witnessed this , at one race, from a few poeple.. And even worse,, this guy rob Rusha went through with it,, never admitted to anything.. Never admitted to MAYBE starting with the wrong group,, OR MAYBE getting lost out there.. never said a word..Rob Dedora,, Esteban,,and me,, even Tim shoepen kept asking questions and after a while he gave up his award,, money and spot.. They DNF'd him I think.. he made a name for himself thats for sure.. If he comes to another race we will be watching him like a hawk...