The weather was perfect as were the course conditions after a bunch of rain late in the week and Saturday night. This was my 3rd Stampede race and the first ever mountain bike race for Rob. As I got to the line, “Little Richard” told me to go to the back and not be pushing my way into the front. I basically ignored him knowing what kind of pain I was ready to inflict on the field. Rob was not too far back, but not in the ideal spot for a massive launch off the front that was to come. Gun sounds and I launched it pulling a little ways away from the field. I maintained this advantage all the way to the single track were I started getting stuck behind slower riders who started before us. I just didn’t want “Little Richard” to beat me so I just kept the hammer down. One rider from our field wound up catching me and we rolled together until I dropped him on the first climb. He was able to recover and get back to me and we rode together all the way towards the top of Petersen Ridge. Unfortunately we got stuck behind several riders and made a passing attempt. He got by the rider and then I got to run square into the guy as he rolled right in front of me. I worked hard to bring the guy back over the rest of the course, but between riders being in the way and mostly downhill left was not able to get the overall finishing 20 seconds behind. Still I was able to take the podium for our category. As I waited near the finishing line, I looked over and guess who I saw, but Rob himself. I didn’t think anyone else had finished in front of him besides the two of us and I was right. 2nd place, on a rental bike in your first mountain bike race is impressive. Maybe you should consider getting a good mountain bike and ride it.