I'll start from the beginning..
Friday AM we loaded up the Gear Grinder Hyundai Sonata and headed north. The leaves were changing colors and it was a relaxing drive up. We arrived at 3:00 with plenty of time to pre-ride the last 12 miles. Unfortunately I flatted on the firetower descent. Demo Ken saved the day with some fresh Bontrager rubber for the race.
Wild Bill was with us and somehow forgot to register! How do you do that?
After registration it was back to Hayward to our hotel and a good nights sleep. Saturday morning came and it was slightly warmer and a little more wet than last year.
The ATV's stayed on hwy 77 longer than in years past which made for a smoother lead out...when the ATV took off so did Cole House who entered Rosie's with a 30 second gap! I was 2nd into the field and after the first crest dropped comfortably to 5th wheel.
The lead group was huge and stayed that way for a long time. Tilford was the first to go with a flat tire. I looked around no Simonson, no Marko, but plenty of company with Doug, Page, Hall the Three Amigos from 212, TJ, Landon and a few others.
Bender launched an attack on the dirt road that set up Hall's podium move. With Jeff off the front I was waiting for the Birkie to follow Page. Just before the Firetower I went down in a blaze of glory. My body was shocked from the crash and the cold muddy water that I slid into head first. I stood up to pick up my bike and my legs cramped bad. I fought through the pain as the group was going relatively slowly approaching the Firetower climb. Finally the legs relaxed and I was back in the mix going up the firetower.
Over the top Hall had 40 seconds, Tj led the chase with Page, Chris P and myself. After the descent Mike P and Landon latched back on....
The Birkie Trail proved to be pivotal as Page easily rode away from the group to catch Hall and win the sprint at the finish. Our group stayed together as we were all hurting. I figured I'd dig hard again and see what happens only to have the chain go over the cassette and into the spokes. I stopped and my chances of a podium ride had vanished. Maybe I bent the hanger when I crashed earlier?
I finished 17th and it took over 5 minute to fix my bike. One crash I could overcome to still have a good ride, but not two major problems in the point to point style racing.
I chose to ride the Fuel in a world littered with rigid 29ers and would choose the Fuel again next year! Is riding a full suspension old shool now?
Andrea had a great ride and finished 13th amongst the women!
We skipped Sunday fun day and headed back south to Sheboygan in the morning. We listned to Larry and Wayne call the Packers game on the drive home. A little early on the dagger call guys! Packers are 2-0 but scared me in during the 4th quarter in both games. Steelers are also 2-0 and look solid. Back to reality for a couple days before heading to MI for the first cross action of the season!
I feel bad for Jesse. I think he would have repeated with his fitness if he would have been in the front group. Sorry man.
check out skinnyski.com for great photos!