What a weekend…..Hi Score Pacman arcade at the pizza place, Packers win, Steelers win, and I got win #2 at the Iceman.
I’ll start from the beginning…..
Andrea, Tristan and I roll out in the Hyundai and arrive in Traverse City, MI at 4:30pm Friday Night. A quick preview of the last 8 miles of the course, an awesome dinner with my dad at Travino’s, and an excellent nights sleep at the Grand Traverse Resort.
Saturday Morning: Some coffee, a bagel and a morning conversation with Ned “THE LUNG” Overend. Andrea went for a run out on the golf course while my dad and I put down some French Toast and then rested up for the 2:30 pm start. It’s always hard waiting around until late afternoon to race.
THE BIKE SETUP
Trek 6.9 With a last minute tip from the single speed world champ I decided to do something a little different. Last year I ran a rigid fork at the Iceman and suffered a little on the descents. This year I decided to go big and ran a 29″ Bontrager Race X Lite up front on the Elite 9.9 with a 26″ Switchblade fork. With a 2 X 9 Drive and a Fast Fred rubber in the back along with the 4 Ti Crank Brothbers Egg Beaters the bike weighed in at 19.5 lbs. The 29er up front rolled good through the sand and allowed me to descend full speed ahead.
What a front row! World / Norba Champion, Olympian /Norba Champion, and 4 Iceman Champions. 2nd row also pretty impressive with multiple National Champions.
The next 15 miles were a blur…everyone was riding smooth Mike and Jeremy controlled the race….I took a few pulls in the first 5 miles just to stay in the game. It was a while befor I could look back and see the lead group was down to 6 riders. Mike, Jeremy, Myself, Tristan, Jesse, and Ned. Williamsburg road came faster than normal with the perfect trail conditions.
The early move….somewhere around mile 17 or 18 I felt good….on one of the climbs I found some extra power and let loose the first attack of the race…..I stayed away for a couple of minutes….as soon as I was caught Tristan countered and I instantly got a huge smile on my face….I had visions of attacking for the next 11 miles on every hill of the Vasa.
As soon as Tristan was caught I let another one rip and got a huge gap instantly. I put my head down turned right on the Vasa and went into TT mode. Over the next 11 miles a lot of thoughts went through my head. A lot of what if’s, a lot of flashbacks of cramping at Sheboygan, but the heavy chase behind me mostly kept me occupied. Check out the GPS around mile 17.5 and you can see my HR spike just before the right hander onto the VASA Trail. The group closed the inital 30 second gap down to arounf 5 seconds on a few climbs and I kept telling myself “your bike is really light” ” don’t death grip the bar” “recover on the descents” but the occasional “i hope i don’t cramp” I hope I don’t crash” I hope I don’t flat” “JHK and The Monster trading pulls I better go back and sit in” Continued to invade my brain until I saw Steve Brown at the 1K red flag. He called me an animal or something like that….I relaxed and enjoyed the finish my with hands in the air!
One of the best parts approaching the line was knowing my Dad and Andrea were there waiting for me. I wish my mom could of been there….but that gives me some motivation for the future. Did a quick interview for the Traverse City Record Eagle before making it over to the podium. Full Results from the local newspaper here.
You can watch the race here or you can watch the finish on You Tube.
The awards ceremony was pretty cool. Jeff and Ann Buerman (above with my dad) from Pinckney, MI run Michigan Youth Cycling and basically intorduced me to racing. Jeff raised over $2,000 in scholarship money to give to the fastest Jr. racers and asked my on stage to help present the awards. Congrats to Sara and Mike for bringing home the Schoalrship $$$$.
Then we loaded up the Ice Trophy and headed to the post race party! It was pretty sweet….arm wrestling, beer drinkning, and lots of air guitar….we even hit up the infamous “Argasm” party bus.
Thanks to all who made the Iceman happen. Thanks to PCW for supporting me throughout the long season. Thanks to Momentum Endurance for great coaching advice. Thanks to Oakley for keeping the eyes protected from the constant sand spray. Even Bigger thanks to Tristan for throwing down some attacks and making the other 2 guys pull….wish you made the podiyum with me. Biggest Thanks to Andrea…she’s the best!