I have exactly one Intermountain Cup XC victory. It came at the 2002 Brian Header, at Brian Head, Utah. The race was competitive, and spectacular. By far it was one of my favorite courses on the circuit. It had huge climbs, swooping descents, technical rock drops, and incredible scenery. It is a shame it is no longer a part of the circuit.
I remember the events following the race as clearly as if they had happened yesterday.
I climbed atop the podium, looking down on all my vanquished foes, they bowed their heads in shame and reverence at the victor before them. I raised my arm in triumph, and in a bestial rage screamed at the top of my lungs, “I am the king of the WORLD!”
At least, I think that is how it went, although it may have actually gone like this:
I graciously ascended to the top step of the podium, humbly shaking the hands of the other victorious competitors. Each of us gazed out among the masses, swelling with the sweet pride of success. We accepted our just rewards with grace and dignity. A hushed silence fell over the crowd as we raised our arms in salute to the unwashed rabble below.
Yeah, that sounds about right.
After the blitz of handshakes and congratulations that followed, I was able to break away for a quiet moment to myself. No doubt leaving the press wondering where I had gone. But they could wait. I was soaking up the glory of a job well done, a victory long deserved. I held the blue ribbon carefully in my hand, and lifted it above my head.
In brilliant gold lettering it proclaimed my dominance. 1st PLACE BRAIN HEADER. Wait, what? Brain Header? I studied the ribbon in shocked silence for several long moments. I slumped to my knees, and buried my head in my hands. My blue ribbon, sullied by incompetence and neglect. All the hard work, the training, the dominance, undermined by the lazy oversight of others!
I stuffed the worthless emblem into my jersey pocket and stomped across the parking lot. Never again to return to the Brain Header.