Written by Matt DeMeis Sunday, 05 June 2005 00:00
- Tight twisty singletrack with a soft loamy surface
- Blazing fast downhills
- 2 Leg busting granny gear climbs
- 1 big ol' log hop
- A bunch of great technical rock gardens
What more could you ask for?!
Sunday turned out to be one of the hottest days this year. By the time we started it must have been well over 80, possibly 90 degrees. I rode a VERY easy warm up to retain as much sweat as I possibly could. Then I went and sat in the shade to wait for the start. We were only sitting on the line for less than 5 minutes but in the direct sun it seemed like 1/2 an hour.
Off the start and up the first climb I just settled in and let the other guys drill it. I hung out around 6th or 7th until the top of the climb. Strategy for the day was to pace myself and ride steady because I knew the heat would be a big factor in the attrition rate. Halfway through the first lap Maine strongman Yale Iverson and I went away and never looked back.
We turned out some pretty fast laps because the course was bone dry. Perfect conditions. I managed to get a gap on Yale on what I think was the second lap. He was riding strong so I new I had to keep the hammer down for at least one whole lap to get a good buffer. I tried to gas it on the climbs to make as much time as I could and then use the downhills/flats to recover. We started coming up through the senior 1 field in front so I tried to use that to my advantage as well. Out of sight out of mind! well... sort of.
The legs felt pretty good the whole time. My big concern was keeping enough fluid in me. I drank close to a bottle a lap. Every time I'd hit the top of the steepest climb the breeze would chill me. That's when you know you're right on the edge of the dehydration zone. 4th lap I lost a little time waiting for my hammer gel to kick in but still no Yale in sight.
On the last lap I caught sight of him through the woods and guessed he must be gaining time on me so it was tank emptying time. I knew that if I made it to the top of the 2nd climb with a good gap there was no way he could get me back. I drilled it up the granny gear climb and looked over as I was coming down the other side, he was nowhere in sight. Now I just had to put it in autopilot down the twisty to the start finish.
I crossed the line to take the win by less than a minute to a late race hard charge by Yale. We had gone through the entire senior 1 field. The only expert to come in before us was a blazing fast junior. That kid is going to be a pro I bet, very very fast. Once again I have to give huge props to the Hammer HEED. No cramps and very little hot face after such a heater is a true testament to it's goodness. The Fox fork with a fresh oil change and new seals was working spot on as well. Next up is some more road racing with "LT" Steve and then it's up to Maine for the Alden Hill Challenge with the rest of the Bikeman crew!
Images by: Root 66 Race Series/In The Zone Images
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