Way older than he looks

Justin Desilets

Undercooked meat bag.

2019 Recap

The 2019 racing season recap

Justin Desilets

13 minutes read

For me, the end of the mountain bike racing season is marked by the completetion of The Park City Point 2 Point race. It is usually a time where I take a break from the bike and try to do things for fun. This can be taking a vacation to binging on a new video game. See Borderlands 3.

Last year, I really felt the effects of the Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction (EIB) during parts of the season with all the fires, but especialy at the end of Point 2 Point. After some proper testing, the diagnosis was confirmed and I was given a couple of medications to start on for treating it. While I now had this knowledge, it is a long time in the training cycle before you hit any efforts that can really start to trigger the effects. Doing those long slow rides in Zone 2 really doesn’t stress my system enough to see or feel the impact. Utah had a pretty incredible winter for the 2018-2019 season. Alta had over 626” fall. This is great During December - February, but after that you start itching to get some outdoor riding in. You start registering for some of those early March and April races. The snow just wouldn’t leave and the trails were not drying out. This left a lot of people, including myself, feeling like we were way behind on training. It is one thing to ride the trainer for strength and endurnace, but you cannot simulate the beating your body takes while riding outside. To add to the difficulty of training, the team I am on at work, split in half. I went from being on-call every 8-ish weeks to every 4. This means at least one week per month, I cannot ride outside. This has an impact on your training, physically and mentally. The early races, like Sea Otter Classic

and Whiskey Off-Road
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The @epicrides Whiskey Offroad 50 Proof was hard. The new course, with all the additional single track, hits you with a lot fatigue. Despite the muscle aches, it still felt great to get out in some warmer weather and race. My @iamspecialized Epic S-Works performed awesome the whole race. @carborocket had me plenty fueled up and my @dnacycling speed suit was comfortable then entire 48ish miles. Thank you @sportograf for the 📷 | @binghamcyclery | @peakfasteners | @DNACycling | #WaddellReed | #SuperiorServiceTransport | #CSMConstruction | #PermaPlate | #AltaVistaChiropractic | @SaltFireBrewing | @TrailTruffles | @CarboRocket | @selective_vision_ | @rotorbike | @garwoodsgingerbeer | @creminelli | @amphuman | @kcyclingcoaching | @ollettbicyclecoaching | @iamspecialized

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had me feeling that I was still playing catchup. Just as the snow was finally starting to melt off the trails and Kel and I were getting ready to do the Grand Junction Off-Road we both caught a nasty cold. Congestion and hacking so much that the morning we were supposed to leave for the race I cancled the trip. If either of us had tried to race we probably would have ended up getting hurt or being really dissapointed. Getting my lungs back, we rolled into the SoHo Bike Fest
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Pics from last evenings @sohobikefest Pro Men's Short Track. I tried to hang on for as long as I could but race fitness is lagging behind this season. At least I am looking good out there in the @dnacycling kit. Today we have the XC at 4:30PM. Hopefully some fatigue and elevation will calm the youth down and let me play with them. 📷: @brianszimmer Thank you for the pics. @BinghamCyclery | @PeakFasteners | @DNACycling | #WaddellReed | #SuperiorServiceTransport | #CSMConstruction | #PermaPlate | #AltaVistaChiropractic | @SaltFireBrewing | @TrailTruffles | @CarboRocket | @selective_vision_ | @rotorbike | @garwoodsgingerbeer | @creminelli | @amphuman | @kcyclingcoaching | @ollettbicyclecoaching | @iamspecialized

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up at Solider Hollow. This was a great race venue to have so close to home. Being a sudo pro racer, it is a little difficult. After putting a full day at work, I would drive up to the event and toe the line with some of the countries top riders. In trying to gauge how my breathing was going in all of this, it was still pretty difficult to say. I was coming off of being pretty sick, and this was some of the higest elevation racing and riding I had been doing so far this year. I think the next significant race I did was the Wasatch 50. With the heavy snowfall, there was still a couple of spots that had to be rerouted around the 4 foot high, hardpacked snow on the course. The temp dropped a lot for just that day that weekend. At one point on the course, my computer recorded a temp of 32-33 degrees. It was just another variable tossed into the mix that was making it hard for me to judge how my breathing was progressing. The next race was at North Fork. I was starting to taper at this point and things came together quite nicely. After the first full lap, I made an attack on the climb. This let me get into the single track in first place and I held that for the next two full laps to take the win. North Fork Podium From there, we headed to Winter Park, CO for MTB Nats. I have to say, I don’t believe I could have raced the XC any harder than I did.
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2019 MTB Nationals - 34th Pro Men. This was a tough race. It was raining on and off all day. I was fight a migraine while warming up. During staging it was raining sideways and then we had a drag race start up the road. The first three laps I tried to just pace myself with how I know I can ride at this elevation. The last two laps, the fatigue was starting to add up. My arms and hands were feeling like the circulation was getting cut off. On the longer sustained climbs, my vision was starting to narrow a little bit. With our 5:30PM start time and constant cloud coverage, I could barely see through the last rock garden in the woods. I am super happy that I was able to keep it clean and ride my own race. Now that I am done, it was a bit fun to dust off the wet root riding skills learned way back in MI. Those same skills helped me keep it smooth through the lower descent areas to make ground back up. I am also thankful for all those who cheered for me and to have a team @bingham_cyclery_peak_fasteners to hang out with and cheer on all weekend. 📷: @brianszimmer #mtbnats | @binghamcyclery| @PeakFasteners | @DNACycling | #WaddellReed | #SuperiorServiceTransport | #CSMConstruction | #PermaPlate | #AltaVistaChiropractic | @SaltFireBrewing | @TrailTruffles | @CarboRocket | @selective_vision_ | @rotorbike | @garwoodsgingerbeer | @creminelli | @amphuman | @kcyclingcoaching | @ollettbicyclecoaching | @iamspecialized

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I really did lay it all out on the line for that race and cannot complain about my finish. I’m a 40 year old racer who works full time and gets to play in the Pro field. My effort on Saturday’s race certianly affected my STXC race the next day.
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2019 MTB Nationals Pro Men STXC I dug pretty deep the day before in the XCO race. At 9000+ feet, you just don't get the recovery you are used to even after a night of rest. Warming up, I was reminded of every hard effort I had made the day before. Right at the start the group took off hard. My legs didn't have any snap to them. As we made a right past the first turn my Garmin chirped and displayed a "Performance -2" status. Accurate. Some of the other riders pushed hard to get in front of me only to slow right down in the single track. This pushed me into last place for the first lap. I spent the next few laps trying to creep back up in the placements but after about 15 minutes was pulled, taking 29th place. It was a fun course, I was just too exhausted to be competitive. With the end of that race that wrapped up our #mtbnats experience. 📷: @kelscud @binghamcyclery| @PeakFasteners | @DNACycling | #WaddellReed | #SuperiorServiceTransport | #CSMConstruction | #PermaPlate | #AltaVistaChiropractic | @SaltFireBrewing | @TrailTruffles | @CarboRocket | @selective_vision_ | @rotorbike | @garwoodsgingerbeer | @creminelli | @amphuman | @kcyclingcoaching | @ollettbicyclecoaching | @iamspecialized

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There is only so much you can do when you’re lined up at the back and have tired legs. The whole expereince was fun, it was a good venue and I want to say how great The Vintage Hotel was to stay at. They have a wonderful dog policy and this allowed us to bring both of our Genman Shepherds with us on the trip. This made the whole trip possible for us. After MTB Nats, we went back to Utah and it was time for the last I-Cup race for the season, Powder Mountain. The past two years, I’ve not had the best races at this race. In 2017, I was recovering from a really nasty cold and ended up dropping out after one lap. I just didn’t have anything to give. In 2018, the effects of the fires were making themselves known and I just didn’t keep the pace I was hoping for. This year was a little better, but MTB Nats fatigue was still in the legs and there is only so much you can do about that.
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5th place, Elite Men for Powder Mountain. This course included 7 miles of my kryptonite trails and a lot of climbing. I think I recorded over 4,000ft of elevation. Despite some recent rain, it was still quite a dust bowl and your drivetrain was crying after just one lap. I did my best to keep a consistent pace, but by the final lap cracks were starting to show. Just about all of me was incredibly sore. My my upper body ached from trying to control the bike through the sketchy down hill turns and lumpy rock gardens. Crossing the finish line brought tons of relief and wrapped up the @intermountain_cup_official series for the season. I will spend the next couple of weeks trying to get ready for the @parkcitypoint2point. This season has been made wonderful by getting to race with the crew on @bingham_cyclery_peak_fasteners and the wonderful shop support at @binghamcyclery. Thank you for everything. . . . . . . @binghamcyclery | @peakfasteners | @DNACycling | #WaddellReed | #SuperiorServiceTransport | #CSMConstruction | #PermaPlate | #AltaVistaChiropractic | @SaltFireBrewing | @TrailTruffles | @CarboRocket | @selective_vision_ | @rotorbike | @garwoodsgingerbeer | @creminelli | @amphuman | @kcyclingcoaching | @ollettbicyclecoaching | @iamspecialized

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This brings us to the last race of the season, Park City Point 2 Point. I did a really good job this year with pacing. At the first feed zone, things were looking really good. As I progressed to the second feedzone people were commenting on my place. It was something like 10th. I was rolling along in this place for a good amount of time and feeling like I was running a pace I could hold till the finish. At the second feed, Kel reminded me to take another hit from my inhaler. I was already riding and I think this might have been my downfall. I tried to use it with my heart rate up and trying to hold a breath for 10 seconds was really hard. After that, I slowly felt my breathing become more constricted. On the climb up Armstrong, I could feel muscle fatigue everywhere. I just kept pushing. At this point, I’m around 5 hours into the race. I want to say it was somewhere along the stretch of Mid-mountain heading towards the Canyon’s resort that I stopped and tried to collect myself and take another puff from the inhaler. I was on a ridge line, with a monkey brain, trying to decide to wait and let my heartrate come down or to keep pressing on. I probably made the wrong choice and kept riding. Riders started catching me. I couldn’t respond. As I passed the Red Pine lodge another rider caught me. In the final descent down to the Skull Candy building, my entire body is aching. It’s just not responding to me and I cannot desecend the way I need to. I could hear riders coming up behind me so I pulled over and let them by. I lost about 10 places in the last 5 miles of the race. This was a bit soul crushing. Even still, I managed to break 7 hours for the finish and take 20th place. More than 20 people broke 7 hours that day which shows you how strong of a field it was, but I wanted to feel like I was able to race my own race. Instead, I was wheezing and cramping through the finish.
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@parkcitypoint2point is only a few days done bit I am already looking towards next race season. I ended up 20th for Open Men in just under 7 hours. That is by far my best time but I lost about 10 places in the last 5-10 miles. Breathing issues that I have been working on were fine until about 4+ hours in and then it was like breathing through a straw. I am trying to see the positive here, per lots of Kel's reminding. This was the best one I have done yet. It has been great being a part of @bingham_cyclery_peak_fasteners and all the wonderful support from @binghamcyclery who has kept me rolling all season. 📷: @kelscud #p2pmoments2019 . . . . . . . @binghamcyclery | @peakfasteners| @DNACycling | #WaddellReed | #SuperiorServiceTransport | #CSMConstruction | #PermaPlate | #AltaVistaChiropractic | @SaltFireBrewing | @TrailTruffles | @CarboRocket | @selective_vision_ | @rotorbike | @garwoodsgingerbeer | @creminelli | @amphuman | @kcyclingcoaching | @ollettbicyclecoaching | @iamspecialized | #utahisrad | #mtb | #lifeelevated | #outsideisfree | #mountainbiking

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From here, I’ll be following up with my doctor to find out what might have gone wrong and I’m already setting my sights on next season. I want to say thank you for the huge support from Bingham Cyclery. The shop support has been wonderful. The team itself, you’re such a wonder group of people to race and hangout with. Thank you for everything.

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