Caveman crash and burn in Las Vegas
XTERRA Las Vegas started off pretty normal- Christine Jeffrey chicked us all, then the 3 usual supects beached – Craig Evans, Brandan Rakita and myself. Josiah fell asleep somewhere in the swim and lost 2.30- more than usual for him.
When I still thought riding no gloves is OK… I started racing (only racing) without gloves- to save time. The new Specialized lock on grips at so sticky- I figured I dont need gloves for grip. And even though I always encourage people to wear gloves all the time- in case of a crash- I thought it I crash, I’ll just take it like a man…
I felt great on the bike- my Specialized Sworks Epic 29er is only a week old and the front and rear Brain (one click from fully firm) was the perfect suspension setting for the smooth/ bumpy/ smooth terrain in Vegas. In my opinion the course is quite easy in terms of technical skill, but hard physically, because of all the steep hills.
About 7km in, I had a 3min10 lead, the course swept into a dry river bed- obviously, very loose & rocky. I took the line I practiced a few times, but before I knew it, the front washed out and I was down. I quickly jumped up and kept on riding, but a quick glance I saw my hand had a deep cut and it was bleeding like crazy.
Having won while racing with a much worse injury, I kept charging. But the thing wouldnt stop bleeding and obviously hurt a lot. So I started calling for bandages.
This is the international sign for “I NEED BANDAGES”. (Rolling hands in circular motion)
If they dont get the hand signal, show them the blood and hope for the “I need bandages!” message to come through.
By then end of lap 1 I got some tape, and quickly stopped to wrap it up. The tape didnt stop the bleeding, but at least I could hold the bar a bit better on the rockier descends. Because I couldnt hold the bar well, my left hip flexor started tiring and by the end of the bike leg I wasnt going that great anymore.
I got off the bike 1st, with a 2min 30 lead on Josiah, but immediately felt a bit funny. It felt like my batteries had gone flat. My legs were fine, my hand didnt hurt much, my heart rate was low, I had a big enough lead on Josiah to still pull off a win, (on a normal day) but it felt like I just needed to lie down and sleep. I guess the adrenaline had worn off, because I really couldnt be bothered to run hard.
Josiah caught me at about 6km, I said “go for it” and walked shamelessly like never before. Last time I heard, 3rd place was 5min back, so I took my time.
When the tape came off I knew we’re gonna spend the rest of the day in hospital…
These tacky Specialized BG grips and Overendz have never been THIS tacky before…
Thanks to USAT (USA Triathlon) each participant gets medical coverage for the 24hrs of race day- the previous time I needed it was when “Humpty Dumpty raced XTERRA Milwaukee”. In Vegas I got great medical treatment and never seen a portable X ray machine before. The X rays were to check for broken bones (the joint hurt) and “foreign bodies” in my hand.
When Dr Eric walked in the door and I saw the healing scabs on his fore-arm, I immediuately knew- this guy rides MTB- (and moto) and thus “he spikka my language!”
The 2nd most painful moment of the day: Injecting the wound (in seemingly 1000 places) to deaden it, The most painful moment by far was when the Doc tried to irrigate the wound without pain meds…(high pressure salt water wash directly into cut)
“Clean as a whistle” & “got some meat missing there”
Got 5 stitches, a tetanis shot and lots of good pain meds.
On the plane to San Jose for a few days at Specializded HQ for product training, media training and #spreadtherumor #stumpjumper before racing Sea Otter MTB festival… friday Short Track and saturday XC.