TSE stage 2, or how Sneddon rode fast and won. Today was a truly epic day. After starting with a 4 mile downhill(!) terror blast, the main climb of the day began. It got steeper as we went, and people started getting horny. By the top I was leading a small group of 4, with Sneddon trailing about 30 seconds back. We entered the first section of single track and I quickly rode away from my group on my sweet squishy Hei Hei 29. Knowing Kris would make mince meat out of the pinner guys on hard tails I rolled along at a steady clip and waited for him to catch up. He soon did along with Jason Sager, and things were looking good.

We could work together for the remainder of the race and try to grab time back from Bishop. Then disaster. In the very last inches of a massive, rocky death defying descent, I put my front wheel in the exact wrong spot in the middle of a puddle and all the air escaped out of it from the ensuing hole. I went for the quick change while Kris and Jason forged ahead, but it was not to be. My first, and it turns out only, tube malfunctioned, so I begged each passing rider for a tube, finally getting one, (thanks dude!) fixing my flat and getting back under way. Unfortunately I had also sprung a slow leak in the rear, which my stans sealant took care of, but not before about half of that air had escaped as well. Having exhausted my inflation technologies I limped it about 10 miles of crazy fun single track to the second feed zone. There we had stashed some more air and tubes, so thus refreshed I got back under way. By that point I was far far behind, so I decided to limit my losses and made fun sounds riding through rock gardens and passing people. Meanwhile, Kris had opened up a personal can of ass kickery, having dropped Jason in the technical single track and drilled it to the stage victory. Bishop finished about a minute and a half behind him, so now Sneddon is sitting second on GC about 2:30 down. 5 days remain, so now the plan is to help Kris win, try and win some stages and get in shape for BCBR is a month. They don’t call Sneddon the Single Track Samurai for nothing!
Outy McOutikins

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