You've taken taken some down time after last season. Now you've begun training and riding again. Are you ramping up your fitness too fast?!?
This was my fourth year at the Leadville 100 mile MTB race. I'd have to say this year was the most satisfying and this one will have a special place in my heart.
Last year my father decided he wanted to do the Leadville 100. He and my mother came out and we stayed in Vail. It was a fast finish for me with a 7:42. I had been racing all year with my road team KHS/Maxxis. My father however was time cut at the 60 mile Twin Lakes aid station. This aid station claims the most riders as it comes after the descent of the infamous 10mile Columbine climb. The cut off is 7:45 into the race at Twin Lakes in bound. From what I heard my dad was well outside of the mark last year, likely 8:30 hours. It was a sad and bitter defeat for my him in 2014. So much training, travel, and commitment for nothing, he didn't get a t-shirt, medal, hat, buckle, or his name on the results sheet. To top it off his Leadville number plate flew off his bike on the drive back to our hotel that day. He had nothing to show for the race, it was like it never happened.
It was 95 degrees, windy, and smelled like slaughtered cattle in Ontario. With the dry/hot conditions I was glad to have the hydration and fuel of Hammer Nutrition on my side. By lap two of the 75 minute event there were 12 guys off the front. Three SoCal Cycling riders, myself, and the rest were from one man teams. The guys were rotating nicely and we were easily putting time into the field. I launched for a prime and rode off the front to see how the other 11 other riders would react. They kept the rotation going so I settled back into the group. I went and got another prime, then a third. As I was off the front just after taking the third prime, Shawn Wayland from Serious Cycling came with me. I said, this is good, lets go.
Quickly two other riders bridged to us, Sean Mazich/Jelly Belly, and Ronny Toth/Socal Cycling. Sean, Shawn, and myself quickly put down some power and we opened a nice gap. It was clear that Ronny didn’t want to work and he did just that, nothing. We started attacking Ronnie and soon it was Shawn Wayland who got caught out with Ronnie and it was Mazich and myself who moved on up the road to get the job done. With the windy conditions the new iRT Fifty wheels did an amazing job helping with the aero dynamics and enabling me to move fast and efficiently. We lapped multiple groups and on the last lap I took the lead and held it to the line for the win.
The early season Socal races are coming to a close quickly. As always we have had fast races and lots of them. Ive been racing for the Bike Religion team this year. I have two cat 1 team mates, Andrew and Marcel. We have four cat 2 guys on the team, Rangle, Hunter, Marcus, and JVD. We have had a bit of success early season. At Valley of the Sun in Phoenix, AZ Rangle places 2nd in the cat 2 crit. I placed 7th in the the cat 1 road race moving my overall classification (GC lacing to 7th and eventually finishing 8th GC. The cat 2 guys went out to the Tucson Bicycle Classic where Rangle sprinted for another good result, placing 3rd in the road race. Rangle is someone I'm particularly proud of as I've seen him move up through the ranks as a mediocre cat 3 to at cat2 who was lost in the back of races barley finishing to someone who now can hang with the best and even dictate many of the races he enters. And I'm proud to say or would like to think that I've something to do with that as I've coached him over the past year or so.
Anytime you race 100 miles off road with 12,000 ft of vertical at 9,000-12,300ft altitude you'll have stories and adventures to talk about. My 2013 Leadville 100 adventure was in support of the Challenged Athletes Foundation and Team Bike Religion/ShoAir
When Dave (Hot Shoppe Designs Clothing) and I arrived in Breckenridge on Wed, it was pouring rain and 50 degrees and the race day forecast called for the same! We stayed with Isaac and his wife Bonnie who for 7 weeks were celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary by renting an amazing mountain house in Breckenridge. The house overlooked the town and the ski slopes. It was equip with an outdoor Jacuzzi, grills, and fireplace. Thanks so much Isaac for allowing Dave and I to crash your 7 week anniversary celebration.