As far as a “race report”….
it’s all pretty blurry, my accuracy on things may be off. The first 10 miles were really nice, mellow pace, beautiful scenery, paved roads. I felt good and was hopeful that I’d be able to finish the race. The next 20 miles were a mix of pave and dirt and climbs. My teammates seemed really strong, a little too strong, their ability to go up paved climbs was intimidating….around mile 27 the fear set in….I dont think ill be able to finish this thing?? Then we’d hit dirt and the team dialed it back a bit, just spinning up the dirt climbs. I prefer riding on dirt, so the dirt stuff felt really good. We settled into a nice pace and I felt good about the day and finishing. We were warned at the beginning of the race, there was no prize for descents, “take them slow”…which we did for the first half the ride (the 2nd half we were in drops just bombing and bunny hopping tiny holes). The descents were mostly loose gravel with a lot of ruts, holes, tiny pointy rocks.
Mile 50: we stopped for water + food….10 minutes or so. I was happy to get off the bike.
Mile 60: I cracked mentally and physically. We were on a a low grade, paved, mellow climb. It hurt, a lot. My bike was also making weird noises at this point, new cassette (11-28) and an old chain, I also used a light lube…which seemingly was gone by this point. So riding up this hill, each pedal stroke was just loud grinding noises…so I just sat in the rear of the group and worried, hurt, and ate, wondering if the team was feeling as bad as I was feeling, from the looks of it, they werent suffering at all.
Mile 70: I was feeling better, we were back on dirt and the KOM section was approaching. At this point our team realized that we were in front of most of the teams, if not all of them. My goal was just to finish the ride, winning it was never a concern…but once the idea of potentially winning hit (FREE BEER!!) I felt good! I wasnt bothered by the 3 miles of climbing ahead of me. As we hit the KOM, a team member bonked…it was bound to happen to somebody. The team worked together to help them up the climb.
Mile 80: skies open up , heavy ass thunderstorm. I was hot at that point, I really didnt mind the rain. I think around mile 86 or so…there was an uphill section of dirt that would have been challenging on a mountain bike, let alone a road bike, it was super muddy and peppered with a lot of wet rocks…basically a river bed.
Mile 90-100: two of the strong riders rode up ahead to get food/drinks for the team…we also passed the team in the lead around this point (9W) they were fixing a flat. We make a wrong turn, 9W passes us…recharged from the food and cokes, we paceline it to try and catch them, we never did catch them. The rain was nuts at this point, it was possibly hail…it hurt and it was hard to see. But the end was near….20 or so miles, I can do that….right?
Mile 100-120: it was raining really hard and it was cold, really cold…I was eating everything i could get my hands on, I just wanted to be off the bike at this point…the bike sounded horrible and shifting was getting more and more difficult. I also started littering at this point, my apologies to the state of Vermont…I was in a bad place. The route was throwing more climbs at us, why would they do that I kept thinking…why more climbs Rapha??? WHY!!
Mile 120-124: I think was mostly paved and there were some downhills…we were all taking them really fast, it was also still raining, normally I don’t think i’d take wet descents that fast, but I think everybody wanted to be done, so it was all BOMBS AWAY. We rolled into the finish for 2nd place, 8 hours and forty minutes after starting, (the 4th fastest time out of all the teams).
Finish: drank beer and shivered for 45 minutes. We had no flats and the team rode really well. It was an awesome day and if the opportunity ever arises to do the race, I fully recommend it.
-GS Brian Q
Brian’s Philadelphian handmade McGrath CX-pictured with a psycho stick, a richard prince book, a beautiful losers book, and a Picasso book, but somethings missing.
Oh of course…
Where’s the Landlords book? The missing piece of the puzzle, the raw shit that connects and makes irrelevant everything else-The secret story of America’s bike riding Youth Crew.