|Rolling into Oasis 2 at mile 138|
My prep basically consisted of one thing, my century of the month. I'm far from what you call an ultra-endurance guy. My longest day on the bike ever was 120 miles and that included about 70 miles of descending from Big Bear Lake California. Other than that, it was Rafal and I's ride of 115 a couple weeks ago. We (Rafal, Mike and I) debated on hydration in the leading days and I settled on a three pack of Camelbak Chill bottles. Swapped the 46t CX crank on the Ibis for a 50t compact and swapped over to my road pedals and shoes, all set.
We had a good pre-race night at the Woodman house and opted to ride to the start in the morning. That lasted all of three blocks when in the twilight hours of the morning I nailed a broken 40oz. bottle with my front tire, shredding my near new Challenge Griffo. A quick turn around and tire change at Nate's, and Anne and I threw the bikes in the car and heading to the Nebraska Events Center. We were greeted by a parking lot full of vehicles and 100+ riders ready to roll.
|Sitting 5th wheel with MT in tow. Pic: CVO|
|Scouring the aisles in Malcolm. Pic: CVO|
I was now back on somewhat familiar terrain, heading towards the Denton alps and "the wall". This would be the first point in the day where I'd drop into the small chainring, Mile 70ish. This would also be the first hint of cramps coming on. Malcolm to Hickman was a tough leg. Forty four miles, all alone, no idea how far ahead I was, temperature rising, just pedaling.
I think it was around mile 90 when I first had to get off the bike to stave off the cramps. Usually the muscle goes once and then is fine. Not this time. About 10 miles later I had to get off again and at this point I could see a black dot on the road behind me. Somebody was coming, but who? It took a good 5 miles for Mike Machard to come up, catching me just one and a half miles before Hickman (mile 111). My 60 mile solo effort off the front had come to an end, and unfortunately so too the championship jersey.
Cornbread and the PCL, great race, great time.
The computer stats read like so...149 miles...8:44:04 (9:06 total time)...17.1 avg spd...9166 ft. climbing...6263 cal.
|Mike Marchand, Kearney, NE ~ 1st ever Gravel World Champion|
|Ian Moore, Waco, TX ~ 3rd Place|
|2nd place gets you a bithin' Skateboard Mag hat and limited edition JP poster, thanks KW, JP and CS.|