Race Report: MSC #5 in SnowmassJeff Kerkove 7:12 PM
Spent the weekend up at Snowmass Village, CO for stop #5 in the Mountain States Cup. This event worked its way onto the annual training plan as a training race. Basically show up...peg it....and see what result will come from the effort. Fields were small this weekend with the National race going on in New York, but that didn't mean there still wasn't some talent lining up to partake in the two lap, 12 mile course.
A field of 25 semi-pro men left the start line at 12:00. The race opened with a long climb that lasted about 20 minutes. My plan from the gun was to sit back and ride a conservative pace in hopes of riders popping. Sure enough, some riders did "pop" towards the later part of the opening climb. But the opening climb would not be the only key element of the race. Towards the end of the lap there is another long singletrack climb. I went through lap 1 as hard as I could to survive the 2 lap race...and still have enough gas in the tank. With the warm temps, I was sucking down 2.5-3 bottles a lap...along with 3-4 gels per lap. The course had it all: huge climbs, buff trail through the aspen trees, and some rocky and rooty sections. For a better part of lap 1 I found myself riding alone...with some of my competition with in a few minutes in front and behind me. I finished out the lap....grabbed fresh bottles...and took off on lap 2.
The final 12 mile lap started off a bit slow. While climbing up the road I sucked down a bottle and 2 gels. Legs were a bit heavy, so instead of chasing down the riders in front of me, I settled into a pace to finish out the later miles stronger. As lap 2 went on, I felt stronger...and the legs became light and snappy. Half way through the lap I started to catch riders. I had good legs, and felt ready for laps 3 and 4......if there would have been a 3rd and 4th lap. On the last larger climb, I caught numerous riders...some walking...some running....and some riding. I topped out on the climb to hammer the road back to the final descent to the line. I crossed the line in 2 hours and 41 minutes. Good enough for 13th overall in the semi-pro race.
When it's all said and done, this is what it looked like. Pretty stable HR from the 24 miles...which is what I was looking for. See more pictures from the weekend here and some more here.
Topped off the weekend with a easy spin down to Aspen on the Rec Path with Sonya. Only in Aspen....or Rodeo Dr...could this photo be conceived. Please leave the chamois at the door.
Next week starts another big training block. With an 8 and 10 hour day on the bike...plus some intervals...and the B-68 race on Saturday in Breckenridge....the training pile will be near completion for Pb'ville.