Friday, April 21, 2017

2017 Austin Rattler - the preamble

Last year was my first try at the Austin Rattler 100k Leadville qualifier race in Austin Texas.  It was fun and hard and a good early season test of the racing legs.  You can go here to read about my wicked good decisions and a bit of course info. 

This year, I decided to be a bit more smartah' and try to improve over last year's performance.  That meant some more focused winter training and a few fat bike races to remind the legs how to work hard.  The winter prep started out all grand like with me finally podiuming at Moose Brook and then having a solid finish at Sugarloaf despite suffering two flats early in the race.  Sadly, that's when things started to go south.  I was hit with "issues" during the Titcomb fat bike race and then spent a month not feeling quite right.  I began to wonder if I was overtrained, although that didn't seem likely, but I sure as hell wasn't feeling good on the bike. 

About a week and a half before heading to Austin, the mystery was solved when a painful rash showed up on my right arm.  It turns out that all of my symptoms were the early signs of shingles!  As pissed as I was to have shingles, it sure was nice to finally know what had been going on with my body....So, the doc put me on a super high dose of anti-viral meds and told me I'd likely be ok for the trip.  I finished my meds 1 1/2 days before departure and, thankfully, the rash was still there (still is right now actually) but under control and no longer painful. 

 Lotsa Hei Hei's on the trip...

Once in Texas, I built up my new Kona Hei Hei DL which I'd barely been able to ride because of the abundance of snow back in Maine.  I guess this trip would be my chance to dial it in.  Afterall, there's not better way to get to know a bike than to do a 100k race on it!  Ride day one included 4 hours of mixed single track.  Some fast flowing, some gnarly, rocky goodness and some boulder field scrambling.  Basically just a good solid day of riding and getting to know my bike and all of it's capabilities (of which there are many!).  I probably dug a bit too deep on these rides but it was hard to not be super stoked on riding outside, on dirt, in 70+ degree weather so I figured it was worth it.

Reimer's Ranch

The day before the race we did a pre-ride of the course.  It turned out to be almost identical to last year's course (with just a few minor tweaks) and I was smart for this one and kept the effort low so I'd be fresh for the next days suffering. 

That's all the time I have for now.  Part 2 tomorrow (or whenever I get to it...)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

2017 Sugarloaf Fat Tire Race

Well, that didn't go as planned.  I've been looking forward to the Sugarloaf fat bike race for a while now and felt that I was in reasonably good shape leading up to the race.  The weather had thrown us all a curve ball with lots of recent snow so outdoor riding had been in short supply but I supplemented what I could get with some quality trainer time.  Trainer time ≠ ride time but it would have to suffice.

As race day approached, the venue got a bunch of fresh snow so they frantically packed and re-packed the single track.  thankfully, the vast majority of the race would be on groomed xc ski trails so hopefully non-prime single track would be ok. 

Race day.  I got to the venue two hours early so that I could pick up my stuff and get a loop in on the course only to find that they weren't allowing pre-riding.  Not even on the xc ski trails!  I get that they were trying to save the single track for the race but they should definitely open a section of the groomers so riders can warm up without risking riding on the area roads in the winter.  hopefully that will change for next season.

It was cold, with temps just about zero at the start, so I opted to rock my new Stio gear for the race instead of my standard 12 year old Castelli fleece jersey.  Warm and dapper!

Starting to line up.  Looking stylie in my Stio Second Light Alpha
Race start, I got a good start from the front row, nabbing the hole shot but quickly relinquishing it to my buddy Warren for second on the first short climb.  No sense burning too many matches this early. 
race start video

Grabbing the hole shot now down to my Stio Eddie Check Shirt

We made our way through the first single track section and it seemed to hold up pretty well but showed signs of softness in some of the corners.  Back out onto the xc stuff and we were joined by Brian and Brett.  The four of us rode together until the first long climb when Brian and Brett put a bit of a gap on us.  Warren went ahead of me on the next s.t. section and we quickly brought Brian and Brett back so we were four again.  Unfortunately, I started to notice some softness in my rear tubeless tire.  Sure enough, I look down and I'm now almost flat but the bead was still holding.  I was carrying two CO2's so I decided to gamble and air the tire back up and see if the Stans would fix whatever the issue was.  So I stopped, futzed around with my inflater (nothing goes as quick in the winter...) dumped a whole 40g canister into it and jumped back on my bike losing somewhere around 2 minutes on the leaders. 

Shortly after the flat.  the chase begins!
I frantically chased for the rest of the first lap and the first half of lap two, working back up to 4th place when I noticed my tire going flat again.  frig!  It was tube time and end of all hope time.  But, but, but, this shit builds character right?  I figured it would be good practice for this summer's 100k races when a flat isn't necessarily the end of your race so I got about changing it. 

No mans land.
The good news is that I still had one CO2 canister, the bad news is that only half filled my 4.8" tire so it took me an ass ton of frantic hand pumping to get the tire to a manageable pressure wasting around 10 more minutes as I watched half of the long course racers pass me by. 

Gasping for air

With the fix finally done, I hopped back on the bike and chased and chased and chased.  I made decent time but only managed to claw my way back to 7th.  A disappointing finish but pretty good given the circumstances. 


 There's still two more races in the Maine winter series so I have a couple more chances to represent my team and Kona Wo well. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Moosebrook 2017

The Moosebrook Fat Bike Race is the (as far as I know) original single track fat bike race in New England.  They do a superb job each year packing out 5-ish miles of ripping single track for our bike racing pleasure.  As is always the case with winter riding, conditions can be fickle.  Over the previous years we've seen brutal cold (below 0), cold with blistering winds and maybe one year when things were relatively comfy but there was never a year when ma nature threw a precip curve ball at them by dumping snow or rain or whatever leading up to the race which meant that conditions were always pretty close to primo.  That was then, this is now.

This year, conditions were not cooperating.  They had a good base and some well packed trails until a little over a week before race day and then things went to shit.  First, a bunch of warm weather and rain and then, a few days before the race they got several inches of fresh powder.  A course re-design was in order.  some quick regiggering and they had a course that seemed like it would hold up.  Fingers crossed...

Race day. I got there uber early so that I could hopefully do a full loop to see what conditions would be like and to set tire pressures.  Unfortunately, because of the course change, I couldn't figure out where to go or what direction so, instead, I rode as much course as I could in the direction I thought we would be going.  I was happy to see that, while the conditions were tricky, it seemed like almost everything was rideable but there would definitely be some running involved.

Race start.  For once, I was ready and snagged a front row start position so I wouldn't see the leaders disappear in the distance like years past.  When the gun went off, it was a full on sprint up the lead out snowmobile trail and I ducked into the woods in 4th, behind Mike Rowell, Garth Schwallenbach and Brian Oickle my best ever start here.  Most of the single track in the first half of the course was pretty good (even though I road ALL OF IT the wrong was in my pre-ride).  I had my buddy Brian riding just in front of me in 3rd and teammate Ryan just behind me in 5th.

Somewhere in the opening few miles, Brian bobbled in the single track and I was able to slip by.  That was shortly followed by a long-ish snowmo trail climb.  Sadly, of the three of us, I'm the worst climber so Ryan slipped by me and entered the second half of the single track in 3rd.  The second half of the course had some seriously dicey downhill S.T. but finished with some super firm track in an evergreen forest that put a smile on your face.

When we entered lap 2, we hit a section of S.T. that was skipped in the first lap so that the field could spread out.  Thank god we did.  With temps in the mid-30's this section was already tough to ride even before 100 fat bikes had been over it.  This would become the section with the most running.

Up until this point, I was following Ryan rather comfortably but found that I could run faster than him so, just before we hit the snowmo climb again, I put in a dig, passed him and drilled it through the next section of trail.  and, by god, it worked!  I gapped him nicely but, like I said, he's a better climber so he just rolled on past me towards the top of the climb.  Hmm, how was I going to get away from him?

The rest of lap two and three saw us jokey back and forth between 3rd and 4th.  considering how hard the conditions were getting (slushy ice ruts and literal single tire width wide tracks to ride in many areas) we were somehow having fun.  Unfortunately, we hadn't seen 1st or 2nd in a while so we knew we were fighting for the last podium position.

Last lap.  Ryan was leading me but I took over 3rd in one of the running sections.  At this point, remounting your bike was a gamble unless you knew that you could stay on for more than a couple of minutes so I made a strategic decision to run ALMOST EVERYTHING until we got to the firmer sections.  No gambles, just head down suffering.  The strategery worked and by the time I got to the snowmo climb, Ryan was nowhere in sight so, after another 15-ish minutes of  single leg butt pucker downhills, I rolled across the line in 3rd.  Mike Rowell took the win with Gareth in second.  Finally a Moosebrook podium.

Many thanks to and Kona Bikes for the
awesome gear and support.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Pats Peak 6 hr

So, last year I got recruited to do a 4-man 24 hour team at Pat’s Peak.  It was “fun” in a way but I couldn’t help but be jealous of the 6hr solo racers who were finishing up their day (and cracking a beer) before I had even done my 3rd lap.  This year I decided to right this wrong by doing the 6hr instead.

My focus this year is a bit more on endurance races and the Bond Brook Treadfest is coming up in two weeks so this seemed like a perfect way to prepare for one of my “A” races…

There were approximately 30 dudes registered for the solo race but I didn’t know many of the names so I had no clue how I would fare so instead of marking any particular racers, I decided to just find a rhythm and see how things unfolded. 

The race starts with a short run and then a quick gravel road climb before entering the single track.  I didn’t get the best start (why are these guys sprinting for their bikes???) so I entered the woods somewhere around 10th with at least two (or maybe more) 6hr guys in front of me.  It’s a long race though so I tried not to panic and instead just tried to keep them in sight. 

Through the course of the lap (and all that damn climbing) I moved up to around 5th wheel and now was pretty certain I was in 3rd for the 6hr.  The end of each lap is punctuated by a long and fun series of downhill sections.  They are technical in spots but totally rideable on xc machines so I was really annoyed when we entered those sections and the guys right in front of me started to suck really bad.  Even worse is that they would suck really bad, block the trail, run with their bike (while still blocking the trail) and then jump back on the bike only to suck and crash some more.  The sucks made me lose sight and maybe a couple of minutes on the solo guys in front of me so when I rolled through the start finish, I did an uber quick bottle change and stormed back out.  

Thanks to the quick change, I now found myself in 2nd place just behind the leader, Jake Inger.  Jake and I were soon joined by Andrew Lints and we had ourselves a party.  We rode for a bit at “I’m feeling comfortable enough to chat” pace so when Jake offered for me to take the lead, I took the opportunity and upped the pace just a bit. 

I soon had a 15-20 second lead and decided to keep it there for a while since I wasn’t sure how sustainable my pace would be for 6 hours.  When I got to the last sections of downhill I thought I was totally railing it until I heard Andrew come screaming up behind me totally eliminating my lead in the blink of an eye.  Note to self, get at least two blinks ahead of Andrew before the day’s final descent!

My quick stop after lap one was so successful that I decided to skip my second stop to see how much of a gap I could get.  The temps were cool and there were three opportunities to get neutral hand ups of water and gels on course so I figured it was a reasonably safe gamble and worth the risk.  Andrew and Jake stayed within sight on lap three but never made contact.

Fast forward a few laps and I was still in the lead and I was only catching occasional glimpses of Jake and Andrew but I didn’t have any sense of how big my lead was or if I was truly in the lead at all since there was a part of me that thought there was a chance somebody had gotten away in the first lap.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have anybody to confirm my place so I just continued to ride and hope…

At some point it rained off and on for a few laps making some parts of the course kind of greasy but overall, things held up well and somehow the whole “downhill” finish stayed bone dry.  Weird.
Finally at approximately 4:45 into the race, I finished my 6th lap and started to feel like I had this one in the bag.  As a result, I decided to give it to ‘er and see how quick of a lap I could tick off this late in the race.  That fantastic plan lasted for about 15 minutes before my left quad started to cramp soon to be joined by my right hamstring.  Oops, maybe going through only 2 ½ bottles and two dixie cups of water in 5 hours wasn’t enough??? Stupid.  The damage was done though so I went into cramp maintenance mode by taking it easy on the climbs and drilling all of the flatish and downhill sections to keep from hemorrhaging too much time. 

This is also when I started doing the math in my head (which is always tough in an endurance race) to see how many laps I had left to do.  At my current pace of 1 lap per 45-ish minutes, it looked like I’d finish just after 6 pm.  Perfect.  About ½ way through my 8th lap I started hearing noises behind me.  Was it Andrew of Jake catching me?  Was it the guy I just passed?  Or was it my brain talking shit to itself?  I had no way of knowing so I scampered as quickly as my crampy legs would allow hoping not to get caught on the last downhill. 

Thankfully, at 6:02, I rolled through the finish and got the unofficial word that I got the win.  16 minutes later, Andrew rolled through with Jake following shortly after.  I guess it was in my head after all... Looking back at my lap times, my second lap was the fastest at 41:51 and my 6th was the slowest at 47:55 due to a couple of minor mechanicals so I'd say my pacing was pretty solid with only a 6 minute differential. 

All in all, I thought the race was great.  They made major course changes for this iteration which eliminated all of the ski hill climbs and added a bunch of really nice (albeit fresh) singletrack.  I’ll be back next year for sure.   

A big thanks to Bikeman for pulling out the stops and fixing my bike a few days before the race when I realized a couple of suspension bushings had gone to shit and a shout out to Kona for producing a kick ass line of xc bikes that are both fun to ride and super fast both up and down!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

2016 Austin Rattler

It's been a while since I've blogged or posted a race report so lets see how this goes...

Around December a buddy of mine invited me to go to the Austin Texas area for a few days with some like minded dudes to do some riding as well as race the Austin Rattler (part of the Leadville Series).  I'll be honest, on paper it didn't look like a race I'd enjoy with so many dirt road miles and almost no technical challenges but it's hard to argue with 5 days of riding in 70-80 degree weather when it's likely 40 back home so I said ok. 

We arrived a couple of days early and I was a good little boy and didn't totally bury myself pre-race (like I did at Circumburke last year but you wouldn't know that since I never did a write-up...) with a solid ride on Thursday and then an easy pre-ride of the course on Friday.  It turns out that they changed the course a bit from years past and added way more single track and cut out some of the later dirt road sections.  (yay me!)  Sure, you still needed to suffer through 7-ish miles of dirt road but they were almost all flat or slightly downhill so the mental punishment would be minimized. 

Race day, we show up and get our shit together (for once, I did almost all prep the night before so I didn't forget ANYTHING.  weird).  with about an hour before race time, we notice that a lot of people are lining up already.  shit!  guess it's good I had my stuff together so Warren and I hopped in line and waited, and waited...somewhere in the 100-150 riders back range.  I wished I was closer to the front but knew that I could make up lots of places in the opening road sections.

Thats a lot of dudes

When the gun fired we were off!  well almost, the front guys were OFF! but further back in the pack, things were a bit slower with me officially entering the race 17 seconds later.  The first 5 minutes of the race saw me making all sorts of aggressive moves for passes (which isn't easy when everybody is riding 5-wide).  When things finally sorted out, I was absolutely amped up and ready to do some serious damage!  At this point, I'd estimate that I was somewhere in the 40's but there was a group of about 10 dangling ahead of us a tantalizing 20 seconds up.  I'm wicked smaht and amped at this point so I proceeded to pull my whole group of maybe thirty dudes for about 10 minutes with only occasional help but I was racing and it was April and I kind of forgot how to do this smartly...

Eventually, we hit the more singley track and me and a couple of other guys who had shelled the rest of the group (I think?  we were going too fast to look back) caught the group ahead of us in the miles of twisties.  I couldn't open things up in here but it did at least allow my heart rate to drop below redline which is good since I still had about 3.5 hours to race. 

At the start of lap 2, I felt my first quad cramps ramping up (sweet!  only 40 miles to go!  this shouldn't hurt a bit!) so I wisely found a group and sat in for most of the road miles so that when we hit the single track again, I was fresher, had clean trail in front of me and was able to make good time. 

Rolling around to start lap 3 (what?  that's it for lap 2?  yes, little drama and lap 3 is more interesting), I shot my last gel and (mercifully!) grabbed a gel hand-up at the start/finish because I could feel myself imploding.  Fast.  For me, at this point, the race was now about maintaining my position as much as possible.  I felt like I was gonna pop at any moment (why did I go so fast on lap one?  oh yeah, bike racing is fun!  until you're le'tired) and my quads were about ready to pack their bags and leave.  Thank goodness for me, I found a dude with massive WATTS who was more than happy to pull my sad group of 4 along the dirt roads at what felt like Plaid Speed but was probably more in the 20 mph range.  Things were merry until we finally hit the trails where drafting didn't work and I had to let the group go.  My legs were poo and I was feeling the impending cramps of doom descending upon me. 
the watts monster

Finally, on a small rise, when I stood to climb, both quads completely seized on me.  I looked down and it looked like my left quad in particular had completely migrated from my knee area to my fun zone.  I very briefly thought about walking it off but figured I'd just end up a heap of quivering nothing on the side of the trail if I did so I simply dialed it back a bit more and spun as if my life depended on it. 
nearing the end

the next hour was pure and utter hell but I worked my way through the pain with lots of positive self talk, drinking and looking back to make sure nobody was going to pass me.  Thankfully, it all worked out with me crossing the line in 4:17 which was almost exactly my pre-race best case scenario goal and 24th place overall (in a registered field of 850) and 8th in the massive 40-49 age group.  Good enough to qualify for Leadville by a good margin. 

 done.  beer in hand.

 texas dirt in mouth

 qualifiers coin

Overall, it was a fantastic race.  Well run, good course and lots of cool folks around.  I'll be back again next year but (hopefully) with a slightly smarter game plan and a better starting position.  

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bond Brook Tread Fest 2014

The Tread Fest is a race I've wanted to do for the last couple of years but haven't been able to for various reasons.  This year, though, I wasn't going to miss out.  I've fallen in love with riding there so racing there is a must.  The race format was pretty straight forward, the expert/pro class would do three laps plus a prologue loop through the parking area to spread things out a bit.  I lined up on the front row and got a really good start sitting third wheel until we hit the first corner of the prologue and the guys in front of me missed the first turn and about 10 guys got by.  Then, at the very next turn the guy next to me overshoots the corner forcing me to stop yet again or get into a crash letting more people past.  Thankfully, that was the end of the corners and I had about 200 yards of gravel to sprint past everybody and slot in behind Tony Giguere who I knew would be one of the strong men on the day.

We entered the trails 1 & 2 and were shortly joined by Dereck Treadwell (Tread from this point on.  look him up and be scared).  Tread quickly dispatched me and got on Tony's wheel.  The two of them slowly built a lead on me going up the Insulator climb but I latched back on at the end of long Split Rock descent.  Sadly, the xc ski trails that led to the next section of single track had some climbing so those skinny little bastards (both about 40 lbs lighter than me) pulled away again.

I kept Tread (sorta) and Tony in sight for the rest of the lap but just couldn't hang on the climbs.  My only hope was that the technical sections would wear them down more than me (not sure how that would happen since they were both on full suspension and I was on a hardtail).

Tread heading down Wannabe
Me a few minutes behind
Forrest tearing shit up on his Carver fat bike

Halfway through the second lap.  Shit is gonna get real soon.
The first lap was marked by an extreme lack of excitement in the strategery department.  It was clear that the standing weren't going to change unless something interesting happened.  Foreshadow, foreshadow.

A little over halfway into the second lap, after the 6 Back climb, is a tricky little section.  you enter at speed and then have an off camber chundery corner with a hole and then a quick, almost 360 degree, offcamber hairpin to negotiate.  In pre-rides, I was always sure to warn my fellow riders to be careful of this corner so I, of course, endo'd nicely there on my second lap.  There was no bodily damage and I didn't think the bike was affected either so I quickly got up and got to making up lost time.

one of the many switchbacks (I'm guessing 6) on the 6 back climb
I sprinted as much as you can down the Quarry trail and then disaster hit.  I was entering a quick, high speed juke section when my front tire folded over on the first juke (I guess I burped it a bit in my endo up top).  I grabbed fistfulls of brakes hoping to avoid crashing into the trees ahead.  It sorta worked but I still slammed one tree head on in a semi endo move jamming my groin/inner thigh into my stem and bashing my right hand on the tree.  ouch.

A quick assessment proved that all of my body parts were still (mostly) working but the tire definitely needed to be taken care of so I gave it a full blast from a Big Air! canister.  At this point  an overinflated tire was far better than another crash.

At this point I figured I was out of the running for 1st or 2nd but I still hadn't been passed so I hoped I still had enough of a cushion to hold onto 3rd place overall.  But, but, but, just minutes down the trail I came across Tony trying to diagnose a shifting problem.  As much as I hate to take advantage of someone else's misfortune, I knew I had to try to get a gap on Tony in case he got rolling again quickly so I made a mad dash through The Works section of trails.  Unfortunately, it wasn't long before I realized that my front tire was going soft again and I was feeling a little sideways roll in the rear as well.  Frick! I had used my one and only CO2 but I did have a hand pump as well for safety's sake but I didn't want to risk getting passed at that moment so I took a calculated risk and decided to keep rolling at a slightly more conservative pace in the tech sections and drill it as hard as I could on the open climbs.

At the very top of the course, before the descent to the start finish, I caught a glimpse of Tread where the trail passes by closely so I knew that he had about 5 minutes on me at that point.  Enough of a gap that wouldn't likely allow me to catch him at my slightly handicapped pace.

about to go up the Insulator Climb for the 3rd time
As I rolled through the start finish to begin my last lap, I heard someone yell my name so I glanced over and someone yelled something and held up one (or was it two?) finger.  I wasn't sure what that meant.  Maybe he was telling me I had one lap to go or that I was in second place?  I didn't know so I decided to not think about it.

Since I assumed that Tread still had a good lead on me, I went into defense mode.  I had seen my buddy Wheels a while back and knew that he was slowly reeling me in so my goal for the last lap was to be conservative where I needed to and go as hard as I could where I could to hold onto second.

What I didn't know was that Tread had flatted at the end of lap two and had gone to his car to fix it as he lapped through and was now on a tear trying to catch me.

Tread blasting through the mid lap point

Luckily, I had enough of a gap (started at around 2 minutes I've heard) that I held Tread off and rolled into the finish in 1st but thinking I was in 2nd.  Right after the finish, I saw Chris Riley, the race promoter, and he congratulated me.  For what? I asked.  Just then, I saw Tread finish up about 45seconds after me.  Damn that was a close one! 

The "podium".  Tread, me and Wheels

and my winning prize. a pair of 2015 Scott Premium MTB shoes! Swank

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sometimes I race and sometimes I blog.

Over the last few years, the blog has pretty much died.  It just became too difficult to come up with something interesting to write about on a nearly daily basis and it became even more difficult to find ways to grammatically bludgeon the english language.  to add to the dearth of interesting stuff to write about, Strava came along and made me not care about racing as much.  I've always had a competitive itch and, for the longest time, racing is what temporarily satiated me.  But, with the invent of Strava, nearly every ride has become a race of sorts and I can quickly see how I compare to other folks.  Is it the same as lining up toe to toe with a pack of shaved leg, 140lb wunderkids?  No, but based on the lack racing in the past couple of years, it must be just enough to keep me satisfied. 

That's not to say that I don't ever race.  I do, just not as frequently.

I already blogged about race numero uno (just read below) but I never did for race number 2, The Carrabassett Backcountry Cycle Challenge And Other Various Things.  It's been a long time so I'm going to do the cliff's notes version.

Lined up with the pro/expert class and got a good start for once riding with the elites for the first 5-6 miles of technical singletrack and xc ski trail riding.  I was digging a bit hard for so early in the race but it was fun to hang with the actual fast guys for a while.  Eventually, though, my senses returned to me and I let them slip away.  It was at this point that team manager Big Al caught me and we started a multi hour ride together.

Things were going swimmingly until I had a couple of mechanical issues with my bike and I had to watch Al ride off into the sunset, I assumed never to be seen again.  thankfully though, near the mid-point of the 60+ mile race, I saw him ahead on one of the races longest climbs so I dug in a bit to close the gap.  Again, it felt like I was going a bit hard for such a long race but I figured having a drafting/riding partner would pay dividends later in the race.

At this point, Al and I were the top two experts overall and looking like we'd have a pretty good finish (foreshadow! foreshadow!).  things get a bit blurry from here on out but I do remember at some point on one of the hut to hut trails that Al started to pull away from me and I didn't have the gas to pull him back. Crap.  In the back of my head I hoped I'd see him again but knew it wouldn't happen.

Shortly after losing Al, I noticed Tyler ( read here:   carrabassett 50 part duh ) and a single speeder catching up to me.  Ruh roh.  When they got to me, I literally had nothing left to give and had to sadly watch my 2nd and 3rd place finish disappear right in front of me.  Luckily though, that was the last of the passing and I was able to slowly plod my way to the finish as the 4th non-elite.  Not bad but not quite what I was hoping for. If you are interested, you can see the rest of the results here:  results 

As always, thanks to Team Bikeman and for helping make this nonsense happen. 

Bradbury 12 hour recap to follow shortly.