With warm weather arriving in Littleton, the team has started cranking out base miles and intervals in preparation for an awesome race year. For some inspiration, we asked Zephyr Wrigley to recall one of his favorite race stories.
“I have been heading down to Crested Butte every spring since 2003 to participate in the Wildflower Rush. This is an awesome race in one of the most beautiful areas of Colorado and it’s always a highlight of the racing calendar for me. In the spring of 2010, this was the first mountain bike race for me as a member of the Natural Way Racing Team and I was fired up. I had put in my training miles and set my sights on a strong finish.
I surprised myself by getting the holeshot to start the race and after a bit of jostling through the first turn found myself in second heading up the main climb. I was able to regain the lead early in the climb, but lost my advantage after getting stuck behind traffic form the prior start wave. From there I had a great battle with the eventual winner who gapped at the top of the major climb and closed the door on me when I tried to counter. I chased hard down the final descent, but was never able to make contact. I crossed the line about 45 seconds off the pace, but the two of us had a large gap over the field with the third place finisher nearly 4 minutes back.
Although I lost out on first place, I was extremely pleased with my race. This was a personal best finish for me and one of the best races I’ve ever had, everything just sort of came together. I was extremely happy to step onto the podium and represent our team.
I was able to return for the 2011 race, finishing in 4th place after moving up to Cat2, but the 2010 race was definitely a high point in my racing career.”