- 89 miles
- 11,000' of climbing
- 2nd-Place Singlespeed, 10th-Place Overall
- 7:32:22 to the finish
- # of Wrecks: 0(!)
1:47. One minute, forty seven seconds. Turns out that was the gap between Gerry Pflug in first and me in second at the True Grit 100 last weekend. I thought it was less, but it doesn't really matter. Our finish times differed by 0.3%. Grrr.
Observed in one light, it's a bit disappointing that we were so close but I wasn't able to reel Gerry in. In another light, it felt like a pretty good race for me, given that it was my fourth day on a mountain bike and my sixth day riding outside since October. (If I include two snowbike rides.) I'm definitely sore and tired, but felt strong overall and had a blast. I guess my backcountry ski-focused training regimen is working okay.
|Waiting to kick off the season.|
As usual, Gerry took off like a banshee at the start, leading the pack into the hills in the morning's twilight. I was able to keep him in sight through the first few miles and caught him at around mile 9, and then took the lead for the trip around the Zen loop. (Which, by the way was amazing--ledgy, technical slickrock racing. So fun.) I was able to pull away in the more technical riding, and headed out to the Bearclaw/Poppi-Stucki Springs loop with a bit of a lead. Check out this link for an interactive course map.
And then Gerry passed me back around mile 25 and I spent the rest of the race chasing him. It seemed like I was consistently able to gain on him in the more technical sections, and he would pull away when things opened up and got fast and smooth. He was definitely geared a bit higher than me, but also seemed more comfortable maintaining a super high cadence than I was; that's probably the next thing to focus on in training.
|Erica performs a perfect Camelbak hand-up at my last aide station.|
Regardless of how things finished up with Gerry, I loved this race; the riding quality was really phenomenal. Some of it was brutally rough; I would have been happy to do two laps on Barrel Roll rather than four--maybe next year. Speaking of, I actually caught Gerry midway through our final Barrel Roll lap but once he saw me he gassed it and put the final gap between us that he was able to hold through to the end.
On a different note, the new Pivot LES was SWEET! Short chainstays resulted in amazing climbing, slack headtube angle for super fun downhill riding, overall an amazingly nimble and responsive ride. The American Classic wheels and other bits from Loaded and Crank Brothers worked flawlessly. (Even after launching over the handlebars while pre-riding on Friday.) So stoked to start the season with a long, rough race free of mechanical issues.
|Relaxing in the sun with Rue during the endless wait for the awards ceremony.|
So there it is, NUE #1 done. Successful overall, fun to be riding dirt in St. George while everything at home is buried under feet of snow.
|On the podium with Gerry Pflug and Shannon Boffeli.|
And fun to share the podium with Gerry again--great kick-off to the 2013 season.
Now about that 0.3%...