Missoula PROXCT

81301 has the best cinnamon buns in Durango and a mean chocolate cappuccino.

If you’ve never been to Missoula I would highly suggest visiting, preferably in the summer. It has a vibrant downtown with tons of great restaurants and coffee shops. LPO is my favorite. It also has a huge farmers market and food truck round up each weekend in the summer. And everyone is super friendly, I mean really friendly.

This was my third time to Montana and I was hoping for some good results. The past two times I have visited I knew the form wasn’t that great and I was in the middle of a big training block after a big break. Being under and over trained at the same time is not a good formula for success at the Missoula PROXCT. Marshall Mt has the most climbing of any PROXCT we do all year. It is close to 5,500 ft of climbing for the 1:30 race at 4,500 ft elevation. I would say that is a elevation gain of almost double the average PROXCT. I would also say we spend about 12 mins of the 15 min lap climbing so you better be ready to go up hill.

The races this year seamed even later then last year and we lined up for the STXC on Friday night at 9pm. I wound up winning after riding around in a group of 6 for most of the race until the last lap when we were a group of 3 then 2. It was a great way to start off the weekend but my biggest goal was getting to sleep as soon as possible to recover for the XC.

Saturday the race wasn’t much earlier, we lined up at 7pm and I think everyone was drinking lots of coffee around 6pm to wake up for the race. The race started well enough and I was comfortably in the lead group of 5-10 depending on where on the course we were. Towards the end of lap 2 of 6 I had a slight mishap and went from 1st wheel to around 10th and some 30 seconds down. Once I got going again I was able to pick guys off and wound up out sprinting Zandstra at the top of the climb and getting a gap on the descent to finish 3rd and earn my first set of antlers. Yep, Missoula gives out different size Elk antlers to the top 3 as trophies. That was one of the trophies I wanted to win and while 3rd isn’t 1st, it is good enough to earn a set of baby antlers.

The promoters do a great job of getting people out to the race and the road up the mountain is lined for nearly a mile with cars from all the people. The jump is the coolest part of the course and while it looks like nothing on TV, if you were to stand on top and look down you would realize it’s legit. I bet it probably has at least a 5 foot drop and almost twice as high as anything I’ve ever seen at a World Cup.

I had my first 5 Guys Burgers and Fries on Saturday night and now I’m hooked, think I like that better then In and Out. It is probably twice as many calories so I’ll have to reserve it for special occasions. We didn’t make it out to the party after the race since we got home around 10:30pm and had to be up at 4:15am for our 5:30am flight.

Early flights mean getting home early and I was having breakfast at Carvers with Meg, Coop, Rude and Kricket by 10am on Sunday morning.

Next up is the final for the US Cup and the next round of the PROXCT in Colorado Springs this weekend. It will be a family affair with Rude, Meg, Coop, Winston and I carpooling up on Friday. I’m looking forward to racing at a normal time again.

Before that though, I need to get some training in for Marathon Nationals the following weekend. After a long day on the bike with temps in the 90s and a block headwind most of the day I was cooked.

I wonder how the course is going to be in Colorado Springs…….

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