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CA State XC Championship

Below is a race report from Nich Ducharme of Mafia Racing covering his race and the race of Anton Petrov. The report is from the CA State XC Championship Cat 1 25-29. Nick and Anton are both engineers here at Felt Bicycles. We apologize for the tardiness of this race report, but the engineers have been pretty busy getting stuff together for the 2012 line and attending Interbike.

After racing all season, I was kinda looking forward to the last big race of the year – the California State Championships at Bonelli Park in San Dimas, CA. I had raced there once already this year and at the time was battling a cold, so I had struggled in my first attempt. I was also racing on my FRD-100 at the time, as the Edict was not ready for the public eye. So now, with the season winding down and legs feeling tired, I wanted revenge on the course that had beaten me earlier this year. However, my expectations were not very high going into the race.

Anton and I met up at the race, got a warm up in, and discussed the course, as we had done at the pair of Rim Nordic races we had contested in the past month. Anton was a new addition to the Felt engineering family. He had only started maybe 6 or so weeks prior to the race. After a short pre-ride session we both started complaining about the heat. Our race time was set for a little before 2 in the afternoon, which meant it was going to be the hottest part of the day. Race time temps were in the mid-high 90’s and tree cover is barely existent on the Bonelli course. Not fun at all.

Team Big Bear, the race coordinators, had changed the course, slightly, from my last visit to Bonelli. This time all racers would use the World Cup style course used only by the Pro athletes in the earlier season race. The Cat 1 racers would do 5 laps of the 4 mile course. The short race meant higher effort (more acute suffering) for shorter time. At least the race times would be fairly short, so we’d be spending less time in the heat.

I was racing on my Edict this time, as I had been since just after the Sea Otter Classic in April, and believe me it’s a fast bike! I had also just built one up for Anton, so it would be the first time he’d raced one and about the 3rd time he’d ridden that bike at all. In our previous 2 races, I had been able to edge him out thanks to the Edict’s light weight and amazingly confident handling on the more technical Rim Nordic courses. This time, with the playing field evened out equipment-wise, things would be different.

After a tough battle against the short, but very punchy and very fast course I figured I had probably finished somewhere just off the podium and I’d be able to get outta there before the traffic got too crazy. As it turns out, the hard work Anton and I had put in during the first lap had caused a lot of the other racers to crack and we either caught a lot of guys who went out harder than we had or we were able to hold any chasers. We had finished first and second, Anton edging me this time by just about 2 minutes when it was all said and done.

I must say that the result was bittersweet. I had finished much better than I expected to, but then I was only one spot off the top step and owning State Champion status. On top of that, there was a little bit of pride for me, in seeing such an improvement in Anton’s speed and time, just by getting him onto one of the new Edicts. I knew I was on a fast bike (no FAST pun intended) but I had no idea what kind of advantage the bike was offering me until the Edict’s (and Anton’s) wrath was dished out on me.

It was a very tough, but very exciting, race to say the least. I was very happy with the results for the new bike. You can’t get a much better finish than having the only 2 Edicts on course get first and second! Congrats to the CA State, Cat 1, 25-29 Champion, Anton Petrov, And the Felt Edict!!

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