Looking at the Flyer no one from Colavita really expected a big showing to this event. only paying out 4 places for each category, and the Hellbender going on in MO, many showed up expecting a win. I was surprised at the amount of 1/2's in the field, as well as the 3's from Tulsa and OKC.
Walking into register I see Steve Tilford and a few other Trek/Tradewind Energy riders. After registering I hear that they are combining 1/2/3 instead of just 3's. Ouch....and 67 miles? I am good to about 50 miles and then I am toast so I told myself to not do too much work...but the fun side of my head took over and I found myself getting in a few breaks in the first lap. My water was depleted by the first lap and we were going about 30 through the feedzone so I had two choices...take my wifes arm while snatching a bottle from her or riding the last 32 miles without water. I ended up passing on the water and kept on. I had dropped to the back to get water and right then Mercy gunned it. There were 2 trek guys and 2 other 1/2's off the front and they were trying to real him in with a hard crosswind and everyone was stuck in the gutter. Being in the last position really sucked...the group was down to 12 riders so I was guaranteed almost a top 15 overall in a 40+ field so I felt pretty good. The guys in front of me didn't. After a bunch of yo-yoing one of them fell off his wheel and I didn't have the power to get around and bridged up. My head was hurting and I kept trying to stay positive and keeping a 300+ watt average in the saddle hoping eventually the Mercy guys would give up. After about 15 miles of riding about a minute behind I felt my legs losing power. Instead of holding 450 up hill and 200 downhill it was more like 350/120. I was riding for about 5 miles by myself wondering where I was and when the race would be over and actually felt like I was getting lost. The first lap was so fast with so many attacks I never really looked around to see any landmarks. Finally I saw Roger barreling down the road shouting encouraging words and I felt good again.
Next I came upon an intersection with no corner marshall, no signs...just a lady cop on the side of the road. As I approached the intersection I was looking straight at her hoping she would give me some sign of where to go...no sign so I keep going straight...after about 50 meters after the intersection I hear a faint "excuse me, are you racing? I think you were supposed to turn." I grab the breaks and turn around, give a polite thanks(its not her job to be the corner marshall) and head on my way. By then I was done. My legs were so sore and it was hard climbing hills and keeping momentum. I told myself to keep the watts above 150 just to keep myself honest. By then I had been riding by myself for about 12 miles. As I was going down a hill I look back and see a group of 10. I hop on to the back and started going again. 200 watts + and doing some work up front. I ask Walt of 360 how many miles left and he says 5 miles. YES! Almost done. We keep working and then a specs guy drills it. Everyone hangs on and the pace finally slows down with 1 mile to go. No signs, nothing, just keep going...finally as we go over a hill we see two huge white flags int he distance...Suddenly a Sante Fe Trails rider starts sprinting...everyone thinks it is the finish so we all hang on the wheels..I was 6 riders back...with no one around the flags I knew it wasn't the finish...once we reach the flags everyone is upset...the sprint was over and we still had 200 meters to go...Uphill!
I was able to get 3rd in the field sprint...felt horrible. Had some bananas and monster drink. No complete results yet...we'll see.
Matt got 1st in the 4's. Broke away with 2 guys for 57 miles...did a ton of work and won...very impressive.
Pic Thanks to Phillip.