Evanston was rough. The pace started out pretty mellow and I hung behind the lead group for the first few miles without really working that hard. The group was broken up by the first downhill and the categories behind started catching me on the next climb but I was feeling OK and just kept going my pace. Greg Myers and the sport 35-39 chase group caught me on the road and I latched on. This was the group I was waiting for and I was hoping to use as a pace group for the rest of the race. I refueled on the road and drank as much as possible before the Big Nasty powder climb. I was halfway up the climb and had passed a bunch of people who were walking when disaster struck. I started hearing a loud clicking from my rear brake. I pumped the lever a few times and it just got worse. I pulled over to the side and saw one of my pads was sitting at funny angle with the metal corner dragging on the rotor. I took my rear wheel off and spent some quality time trying to figure out how to put my brakes back together. The clip was pretty jacked up but I bent it back into some semblance of working order. I have no idea how much time I lost but it wasn't a quick fix. I started off again and hit the long downhill. Things were flowing real well till the first rocky section where my pedal/cleat problem reared its ugly head from tuesdays Solitude race. My left foot blew out of the pedal and I nutted myself on the top tube. After Solitude I had thought it was a pedal issue so I swapped pedals with my other bike but I later learned that unlike normal SPD's, Crank Bros cleats are disposable and need to be replaced somewhat frequently. Even taking it easy on the rest of the downhills I blew out of my pedals a few more times. I thought about DNF'ing but my bike was still basically rideable so I tried to work the climbs and chill on the downhill. Finished near the back but not in the back.
Rhonda plugged through her longest XC race ever for her third straight 6th place finish. The long preride from the night before was probably a mistake but since we've never ridden the course before not pre-riding the course would probably also have been a mistake.
The awards party was long, cold and wet but the beer was good and the pizza plentiful. Congrats to UMB for winning the team trophy. They showed up in big numbers to every race and as I've learned from the Solitude Tuesday night series showing up is more than half the battle. Revolution was able to retain the most important title of the series though. Erika Powers won the Best Female Legs contest last year with her killer Quads. This year Rhonda literally jumped into the competion and made it into the finals with her presentation skills. It came down to Rhonda and Erika in the finals. Erika's legs were superior but Rhonda was able to sneak out the win (and the $50) with an impromptu cheerleading leg kick which wooed the judges and kept the title for Revolution.