There is no moment more defining in a mountain bike race than the winner crossing the finish line. That photo of the victory will go into the annals of the SCCCC’s history as one of the great triumphs of your career; when that photo is taken, how will you be remembered.
Yes my friends, more important than your technical skills, speed, endurance, is how you pose for that finish line photo op. There are few things to remember when preparing your “moment in time” first, if there another rider seconds behind or ahead of you… go faster beat them, then like the roadie you really are (winning a sprint and all) raise your skinny fists to the heaven! Normally however, races aren’t won by close finishes, they are won by gaps of 30 plus seconds, giving the new champion a few moments to savor the moment. In this situation, it is imperative the winning rider not give in to the urge to “get the race over” but, indeed, to pay honor to the crowd by giving the victory salute of a lifetime. But what is right for you? Here are a few of the more famous options. There is the “Lift the bike gloriously into the sky” because without me, the bike is nothing, without the bike, I am nothing and what a better way to pay tribute to your trusty steed. “Worship the ground/Kiss the ground” because we aren’t racing on lava or water, it is okay to pay tribute to the course. It is the course that makes the race after all and it is all about how a rider handles the course that determines the winner. Plus, a face full of dirt and sand after all that racing isn’t such a bad way to end a great day.
Grabbing ones flag is always a classic. This shows pride for school or country but should only be attempted by those with superior handling skills, but who are we kidding, you fixing to win the biggest race of your young life, so go for it, grab that school flag your teammates are handing you and fly it proudly my friend!
There are so many more amazing victory salutes out there for you to try. If you’re not sure what you want to do, practice, ride around the park and have a friend practice handing a flag up for the finish, practice dismounting, hoisting the bike over your head and walking for 10 meters or so. Don’t however practice kissing the ground, that’s just nasty. So no matter you decide, do something memorable, you’re going out with a victory, might as well go out with style and class as well.