Sunday, May 29, 2011

Iron Horse

Iron Horse RR:

This is the last year I do Iron Horse. I love the course but hate the event, I feel the same about LOTAJO. The fucking citizen riders ruin the event for me. The mixing of categories doesn’t help my disposition towards the event. That said here is how the day went down:

My group took off on the false flat out of Durango this part of the race is weird guys are twitchy but the pace is civilized because no one wants to burn any matches. So the first ten miles should have been uneventful but you mix traffic furniture and earlybird citizen riders and it becomes more than slightly stressful. At one point the pelaton is passing a citizen and he swerves into us causing people to swerve, smoke their brakes wheels crossed the guy behind me hit my rear wheel and went down. I never looked back! (later I found that I had burned a 3” strip down to the threads on my rear wheel)

After that excitement I started moving up to the front for the start of the first climb. Going into this race I told my self I didn’t give a fuck about results just wanted to be aggressive and race my bike. I did not want to be a passenger I was going to bring the race to the group. At the start of the small rollers I was on the front dictating pace and that is where I lived all the way to the ski resort. A couple of other guys would pull through but most would feel the mind on their face and quickly find a place to hide. This started frustrating me but I remembered my thinking going into this and my mood improved. By the time we got to the ski resort our group was down to less than 25 guys out of the 150 starters.

After a short descent we started climbing Coal Bank pass. Right at the first kick upwards we caught the 4/5 main group which had mixed with the pro women. Guys attacked making which wheel to follow very confusing, so I just drilled it hoping for the best. I found myself in a small group of less than ten guys and we stayed together for a short time up Coal Bank. About half way up the climb a guy from my group attacked I covered it and countered attacked half our little group matched my move. A guy from another team drilled it right after that I followed again but didn’t have the answer when his teammate drilled it shortly thereafter. With about than 2 miles left till the summit of Coal Bank 3 were up the road 1 guy in between me and the leaders and then me and a guy named Mike who had also done some of the donkey work early on in the race. We went
over the top of Coal Bank in this order.

Mike and I raced up Molas Pass trying to shed one another and slowing trying to close the gap to 4th place. I put in a hard dig 1km to the finish and just barely off the 4th place wheel. The descent off of Molas is one of the fastest twistiest things ever, I reminded my self of the plan and tried to shut off my brain and just go for it down the 50+mph descent. I maintained line of site on 4th place but he was prying open a gap on me. At the bottom I Knew the gap was unbridgeable, but I drilled it up the false flat drag into Silverton and with 1km to go my left quad started to cramp and I felt like I was peddling squares. I crossed the line in 5th.
After the race a fellow competitor looked at my rear tire and noted it looked a little rough. I was more than a little pissed and freaked out, I could believed it held but also pissed because of some citizen I could have died if that tire would hace let go on one of the descents. I guess sometimes it pays to be lucky.

* Note: I went to bed in 5th place woke up and for some reason I was in 6th. I don't know what happened but it sucks. Last night I went to the 40th anniversary party for the Iron Horse Classic
it was cool to is the classic bikes and the old pics of the racers. The party made me realize this was once a great race not just some glorified fun ride. I know real racers still race, but i fear my sport is becoming a watered down parody of itself.