Come race day I trudged up the climb, proudly learning that the best way to shoulder my bike was to heave it over my head, similar to the way I would do with my Army rucksack for road marches back in the day.
Dropping in 30 seconds behind Sarah in the huge high alpine cirque, I was able to keep her in my sights for the first few riveting minutes of the stage. When we dropped into the trees and the moto-whoops, I excitedly saw little clouds of dust on the trail and thought I was about to catch her. Instead, I passed 2 dudes before I came into the finish line. Sarah caught 3 dudes. Somehow she and I tied for the stage win.
Rest assured, I'll be back to race the Monarch Crest Enduro again next year.
Thanks to Keith Darner and everyone who had a hand in putting this one together.
Thanks to all my sponsors for helping me have an amazing year of racing.