Monday, June 13, 2011

The Tour of The Mountains of The Mount Nebo

Mt Nebo is a hard race. That kind of goes without saying if you know the course. If you have not raced there, well I can best describe the course as “not flat”. If you know me at all you know I like “not flat”. The 3/4 race had 5 laps of the “not flat” 9 mile course, with roughly 4 “not flat” sections a lap. 
photo Julie Elliot
Lap 1 was a little quick, and I killed a bottle in 20 minutes. The heat was on and it was very humid. As I passed Lauren in the feed all I said was, “More water, more food” knowing I hadn’t brought enough”
Everything was going swimmingly until late in lap 2. I sensed a competitor I had marked (read he’s typically better than me) suffering on a short climb. I put forth some effort in hopes of dropping some folks, but all that really happened was I developed a 50 ft gap on the field. I sat up for a second and peaked back. No reaction, from anyone. “DON’T YOU !@#$%s KNOW I HAVE A BLOG AND AM IMPORTANT???”  Maybe I was insulted, maybe I was frustrated, maybe I was just willing to try it, but I decided to go at it on my own… with 30 miles left.
photo Julie Elliot
About 15 minutes into the effort my gap was growing. At one point I got out of sight of the peloton. I approached the feed zone where I took a bottle from Lauren. I think I said “pray this works”.  I honestly thought I could stay out. I was riding at or above threshold and I felt fine. The group didn’t appear to be working too hard to come get me.

That would be short lived. Mike Egan made a bridge and joined me. I was pretty excited to get some help but it looked like the field was now reacting. About 5 minutes later we were reeled back in and I waited for the counter attacks… thinking about how not to get dropped. No attacks came… we actually slowed up a bit. This was ok as it allowed me to hang on and recover from the effort.

I kept making the splits on the climbs and just focused on conserving as much as I could. Newport was till with me until Lap 4 when he announced his imminent departure and asked if I needed anything.
We hit the last 1.5 k and I was trying to figure out what to do. My plan at this point was go with the moves until I couldn’t go anymore. That turned out to be exactly 1 move. Calvin Hoops jumped from the gutter and launched. I was the last of 7 to make his split, the second move went and I couldn’t respond. 5 or 6 guys came by me. I sat there climbing the last hill dying 100 deaths, thinking, well maybe if I can attack this group I can still steal a point or two from this race. I stood up to attack and literally nothing came out. Game over. I sat back down and climbed up the hill at “uncomfortable” pace. And then I wheelied across the line.
Gorka decked it in the 4 race, but then rode 4 hrs with me the next day Pro Bandages and all.
Shane top 10’d the cat 4 race.
Lauren… BLEW UP both her race and herself. She made the selection and only had one cat 4 to take out in her race, but she went a wee bit too early on the finish climb and her opponent grabbed the win.
In a period of 15 seconds I seamlessly dabbed at 10 mph on a climb to avoid overlapping a wheel and bunny hopped a water bottle that was a heat seeking missile lock on my rear wheel. Not sure if the guy behind me was thrilled with my momentary trials show.

No comments: