Sunday, November 11, 2007

Iceman 2007

Another one is in the books!

The driving is done, the clothes are in the wash, the bike is caked with dirt, the pictures have been taken, and the beers (oh so many beers) have been drunked!

Iceman 2007 goes down as one of my favorite. There were some notible people missing from the party this year, and tho I missed you guys, it was still a great time! I turned in my best Iceman performance yet, and pretty happy with my ride.

After a minor snafu that lead us to have to drive to the finish to pick up some items left in the "finish line car" (it doesn't matter how much you plan....) we arrived at the start with about 35 minutes to get ready for the SS start. It was in the low 40's at race time. After stripping down to jersey, shorts, and knee and arm warmers, I was feeling pretty good. Then I started moving.. Brrrrrr!! the wind wipped right through my single layer.. So i proceded to warm up up and down the main road alongside the school that serves as the start of the race. I ran into Paula and did another out and back with her, being careful to get back to the start in time to stage with the SSers, and try to get a spot at the front! True to form this year, I was stuck farther back than I wanted, but still in the top 3rd.

After some creative maneuvering (pimping) at the gun, I was able to get around some slower traffic, and to the outside where I prefer. I passed Amanda just as we came to the left turn at the fence that marks the end of the initial leadout. Just before the road I passed Danielle and wished her well. She is crazy fast, and I knew this would not be the last time I'd see her. What I didn't know was that She'd pass me back within the first mile.

My goals for the race: 1) Be aggressive at the start for at least the first mile. 2) Sub 2:00 time. 3) Top 20 finish.

Upon seeing Danielle pass me back so soon, my heart sank a little. Then I realized meeting goal #1 didn't mean I had to beat the world in the first mile, but rather how I dealt with situations like this. So I jumped on her wheel and we trucked through some traffic. I had thought to ask if she wanted to work together during the race, but then it occurred to me that would require that I get up front and do some work keeping the same pace, and at the moment I had my hands full keeping her wheel!!

Eventually, I was able to pass back on a climb, but she was able to get on my wheel. This would continue for some time into the first bit of single track. As usual, the single track was a backed up mess, and as Danielle was pondering if we ride or run the tricking, rooted uphill turn, the train in front of us stopped. So off we went. I shouldered my bike and hoofed it up quickly, around some slower riders. At the top I managed a pretty respectable CX mount, and away I went.

The majority of the middle of the race was unnotable, except that I felt better than ever this year! The conditions were AMAZING, and somehow my body was up to the task! Some fond memories: Passing/getting passed by Cat and Craig several times, yet never getting my ass slap in. The afformentioned Cat and Craig leading a train of bikes down the long downhill dirt road, Cat "choo-chooing" as they blazed by! NONE of the sand pits presenting a serious problem. Williamsburg road, always a blast! Making all but one climb at 58.5 gear inches.. Time to move up next year!

I was amazed at how well I felt at Williamsburg road. There were 3 SSers I was battling with all day. An orange Ionic, a White Gary Fisher (rig?), and another guy in a white jersy (728?) I think I had the advantage on most climbs, but was a little two passive on the flats. I think I saved a little too much in the last 5 miles as i believe they all bested me. With 5 miles to go I tried to get back into aggressive mode, but I just couldn't convice myself that the worst was over and I could cut loose. It was until 2 to go that I decided whatever was left I could handle. By then, however, we started to get back into the single track sections that made passing difficult. I could see the Ionic slip away as I was stuck behind to slow "experts" in the single track. Next year perhaps I'll study the course better.

The finishing kilometer at Timber Ridge was excellent this year. They still got you close to where you could hear the crowds from far out, but once you got to the campground, with the exception of one small section through some trees, it was fast and furious to the finish. Many warned of the grass to gravel to pavement turn at the end, but I had no trouble negotiating any of the final chute. JHK wasn't so lucky..

JHK goes down in the turn. Photo Credit Mark Terrian

As I rolled accross the finish, I saw 11:51:35 on the clock. I started to pump my fist in the air, and then some mental math set in.. 2:01:36 was my time... So close, yet so far. And to add insult to injury, once the results were posted, it showed that 1:59.59 would have been good for 19th. Oh well. I had an amazing race. About as good as O2S early in the year. And the after race festivities were amazing as usual.. I huge shoutout to the Dark Horse Mt. Bike team and the Bells Brewery/Quiring Cycles Mt Bike team for hosting awesome awesome parties. Also a shout out to Cathy and Jason for serving up some awesome post-race stew.. :D



Can't wait till next year!!!







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3 Comments:

Anonymous Ben said...

awesome ride!

16/11/07 3:04 PM  
Blogger Shawn said...

Nice job mike. Good to see ya.

17/11/07 8:51 AM  
Blogger TheBrothersChase said...

that frame color is pimp!!!

2/12/07 9:55 PM  

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