Monday, June 04, 2007
2007 Teva Mountain Games
This weekend Cary and I travelled to Vail, Co for the Teva Mountain Games. We competed ini the Ultimate Mountain Challenge, which is an event comprised of four races over two days. As I can't paddle, I had to opt out of the first event and received last place points. But that's probably better than drowning in an icy river, so it seemed like a good decision.
The second event was a mountain bike race. Normally I race Sport, however, today would be my first race as a Pro. Lining up on the front line were: Floyd Landis, Ned Overend and Michael White (former US Postal Service rider). Yeah, I got my ass kicked. The course was really good, but also very difficult. Lots of climbing, both on double track and on tight, steep singletrack. The descents were steep, narrow, root filled and slick. After counting 5 crashes on one lap,I quit keeping track. Not only was the course really hard, but being used to only 2 laps and then having to throw and extra 8 miles in made it a royal spanking. I will say, I didn't get lapped...
Funny MTB tidbit: On the first real downhill, 250 meters of downhill fireroad. Probably doing 35 mph at the bottom, a little washboardy. Cary was right behind Ned Overend and noticed that Ned had both hands off the bars trying to get his gel flask out of his jersey pocket. Sick.
The next day was a 10K trail running race on a version of the mtb course. I thought this would be ok until I got to the first deviation. Coming around a corner I realized we were about to run straight up the side of a ski run. No switchbacks. How steep? Let's just say they had installed 4x4 pieces of wood to act as stairs. And there were a lot of them. Hey, #350. Me and everyone in our group saw you cut out all the steep switchbacks before the first feedzone, so why don't you add that 7 minutes to your "official time". I didn't protest you, 'cause I still beat you and was too tired at the finish to care about anything except resting before my next event. Thankfully the race was only 10k and I finished with a pretty good time, for me.
After the race we went back to the condo, ate, readied out road bikes, layed out clothes and gear for the hillclimb and then tried to sleep for a little bit. We had 2 hrs before we needed to leave to warm up. Just enough time to lay on the bed with my legs up and listen to Real Time with Bill Mahre on my ipod.
Two hrs later: The hillclimb TT. This I felt was my real chance at putting in a good performance. The climb wasn't terribly steep. 6% for 11 miles. After the first 3 miles I was kicking myself for not having TT bars on the bike, but oh well. Hindsight is 20/20. Bob Roll did start a few guys in front of me, and if you're wondering if I beat him.....please, he may be fat, but he's still got a huge engine. There were tns of people on the climb, cowbells, names painted on the road, full-on Tour style. There was even about 20 meters at the top where the crowd was narrowing the road. Totally cool and it definitely helps you go faster. I finished in 39 minutes, just 6 minutes off Cary's time. I was psyched.
I ended up 19th overall and Cary, of course, finished 4th overall, just a half point out of the money. Truly a great event, really well run, great courses, great volunteers and a memorable weekend.