I managed to complete the pre-race shuffle this morning a little after midnight. A marathon trip to town and Walmart with multiple u-turns and an unsuccessful tour of the local gas stations looking for diesel fuel was to blame. With a lilttle shut-eye and my pre-race morning ritual I was feeling a little more comfortable by the time we reached the remote start.
The drive was beautiful through some Mennonite communities with the gals out in their gardens and clothes on the line under a sunny cloudless sky. The TSE crew had everything dialed with an tasty breakfast and punctual start. It seemed like the logistics of bike and rider transport was flawless and the course was marked superbly!
The race got off to a relatively mellow start as we climbed some road and double/singletrack. Things sorted out and I was rolling in fourth place after taking it real easy on the first rocky downhill. The trails were already making us love Pennsylvania so I figured it was time to flip the pedals. First I overhauled Alex Grant then Jeremiah Bishop and Drew Edsall then the climb was mine.
Drew bridged up on the next downhill since I had no intentions of wrecking or breaking my bike today. Apparently JB was having some sort of mechanical problem so we figured we would ride together. Unfortunately, a little later I looked back and no Drew so I just kept riding. Easy on the trails tempo on the climbs and the gap was opening nicely!
About the time I was smelling a stage win, I flatted going uphill at about 5mph. Slapped in a tube and about the time I was ready to put the wheel on, JB and Christian Tanguy cruised by. I got back on the trail and quickly closed it down. Chris let me by and JB showed me how to endo in a rock garden so I passed him, too. Evidently Jeremiah had switched bikes at the first checkpoint so he was having trouble on the hardtail so he took another bike at the second checkpoint.
I was all about making time and hoped he would work with me to that end but instead JB sat on for nine miles and sprinted ahead for the stage win on the last steep climb before we returned to the Scout Camp. In the end I managed to move into second overall by coming home well ahead of Christian. Rock on!
The womens field was also sorted out well with Karen Potter taking a sizeable victory over Selene Yaeger. Rebecca Rusch battled some asthma problems and came through a fair bit back in third.
Tomorrow’s stage promises a little less gnarl and more road work which should be right in my wheelhouse. However, the forecast is for a little shower activity so may add another dimension.
Here are some results to ponder…
Stage Open Men Overall
Jeremiah Bishop 3:11:23 3:46:37
Evan Plews 3:11:55 3:51:13
Christian Tanguy 3:20:22 3:57:38
Brandon Draugelis 3:23:04 4:01:03
Drew Edsall 3:33:05 3:59:38
Stage Open Women Overall
Karen Potter 4:08:57 4:54:24
Selene Yaeger 4:12:51 4:57:33
Rebecca Rusch 4:31:51 5:17:32
Laura Gleason 4:52:37 5:51:30
Rachael Mirvish 5:26:16 6:20:18
Over and out!