And I'm drawing a total blank when it comes to thinking of reasons why to do LOTOJA again next year. That's because I fought the hard fight, got dropped, and DNF'd. I have some serious respect for Mark Z., Al Thresher, Ian Tuttle, Taylor Hansen, and Robert Bennion. Nice job guys.
For the record, by the time the Cat 3s started up Strawberry, we were mixed in with 1, 2, 4, 5, Masters 35, Masters 45, Tandem, and some guy riding with a big Garfield stuffed animal taped to the back of his bike. We went up Strawberry pretty fast. Right before Montpelier, Mark Z and Schaffer attacked the mob and never looked back. That took some serious gumption and strength.
After Montpelier, a Cat 3 (Al) got away in a split that formed after the feedzone. We cruised up Geneva at a brisk pace and going down, Nate Page and Sam Krieg put out some serious watts to bring the split back. But as soon as we hit the back of the split, another group broke free containing 4 Cat 3s (Al, Robert, Ian, and Taylor). And those guys ended up rallying all the way to the end.
Robert and Taylor: I doubt you read this, but I think everyone thought that you'd blow up since you were riding so hard. You proved everyone wrong and proved that you have the stuff.
To Ben and Clint: what the hell were we thinking? Seriously. . . .
Hypoglycemia does weird things to my brain. It makes it so I don’t think. In the midst of all the confusion on the road, I lost track of things and did not see the throw down and break away. I saw Clint perk up but I was boxed in so by the time I maneuvered to an outside line I barely had enough time to jump on to your wheel. I’d like to think that we went because the race was up the road. We should have invited more guys to join our little chase prior to blowing our wads from Geneva to Salt Creek.
I give big kudos to Al, Ian, Taylor and Rob for keeping their heads in the game and having the legs to back it up. Ian gets extra credit as it was cool to watch him blow by me on the last climb and keep the pace until he made the group and finished strong. He also added to the humor of the day as he ranted and yelled about the lead group being further up the road while he mounted the chase. He was yelling to motivate himself while I was whispering please don’t die, please don’t die. I did not have the legs for the climbs today and was just glad to finish. I expect that by next year I’ll have forgotten my misery and sign up again. Thanks for the effort and chase.
Ben, you rode an impressive race too. I didn't realize that you finished fifth place. Nice.
It was a confusing time when the split occurred. I suppose that we really didn't have a choice -- we had to try to bridge. Of course, we could have sat on with the Cat 1/2 group, but that would have been cheating, right? ???
That's racing though. I learned a lot and in the end, I guess I had fun.
Wait a second. You people actually try to race this thing? Impressed. I'm happy to have finished Chalk Creek.
Well, it was interesting. We definitely drilled it hard over the second climb with the 1-2's. Once it all came back, I thought we were good for a minute. Then I looked up the road and saw a small group of about 7-8 riders, and I could tell several were Cat 3's. When I saw that none of the 1-2's were chasing, I figured out it was because none of them were up the road. It was just my reaction to go after them, and looking back, it was the winning move. I was glad to see you two bridge up to me, I knew I couldn't do it by myself. We were so close. I have to express my frustration though, that if the front group would have been separated into their respective categories, it would have been possible to catch the 3's. It would have only been 4 against 3, instead of 8 against 3. That's why that race is hard, there are a lot of people to watch, leap frog and sift through. You would think that at $140 a head, they could afford to hire more than 4 officials. That's my rant.
Clint, that comment could've been a new blog entry.
Just found your site. Really fun to read your perspectives on our race scene.
It bummed me out this year to see you on the climb struggling. But I have a strong feeling you'll be back next year.
What a weird lotoja. That construction zone really made it hard. Funneling that many riders split it to hell. I kept trying to move up before hand, but it was so hard. And lots of masters were yelling to stay put, boxing in, and saying just let in sort out on the hill.
I got lucky in that I got into a good chase group till Afton and then launched solo, catching up to the porcupine boys. Half way through the canyon I couldn't pull through anymore and they graciously let me suck their wheels to the finish. This race is so funny. One day later and I was already thinking ahead to what you'll do differently for next year. We are sick.
Anyway, maybe see you around this winter? Trade the bike spandex for the nordic set. We have 3 big races here. The moose chase, Teton Ridge Classic, and the Pole Peddle Paddle. Maybe see you on the start line. Have a nice fall.
Whoa. Whoa. That was a confusing race for sure. Thanks for the kudos Ben and Jared. Ha, I was definitely ranting, mostly out of frustration at the mixed bag of leaders working together from different categories. I got dropped at montpelier when my crew wasn't there to feed me and I circled around like a toothless shark. By the time I was back, the construction shredded the order and I was alone and pissed!
Anyhow, it was an interesting race. The last thirty miles I was on Al's wheel and apparently I wasn't working hard enough for him because every time I tried to pull he'd jet around me and pick it up. By the end I really didn't feel like I'd deserved it (Jedi mind games from AL?? No, I just didn't want to pimp him) and couldn't summon the mental fire to sprint, riding a halfwheel behind him over the line.
I'm moving out to CA for next season. I'm planning on the Gila so maybe I'll see some of you down there! I look forward to some gnarly trainer stories over the winter (i.e. "I watched Breaking Away for the thrity-seventh time today"). Cheers. -Ian
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