Boonville Bite Hard…Ride Harder
35+ 123 By Kyle Ashton
Women 1234 By Tanya Fredricks
Temp: perfect except for the 100 degrees at the finish
45+ 123 By Max McKinley
Racers: Approx 25 (7 45 1,2,3 the rest were 3’s)
Thirsty Bears: Han’s, Lance and Max
Weather HOT 100deg
Course: 8900′ climbing with many unrelenting undulations and breathtaking view
Field: Combined Cat 3’s 18+ M45 1,2,3 (7) 25 total
Placings: Max 1st, Hans 2nd, Lance 5th (Hans was 3rd overall, I was 2nd overall)
Han’s and I planned pre-race that Carl Nielsen was the guy to watch on the climbs a very fast climber. The course set off easy for the first mile then the torture set in up a steep 2 mile 12%++ gradient to the KOM (which I didn’t know about). We raced with the Cat 3’s (most of which were young enough to be my son’s:) , one guy was charging up the hill full gas to start, my goal was to keep Carl in my sights and stay with the lead group up this critical climb that would make a selection fur sure. Carl likes to race in the front of the group, about 1/4 the way up he guns it and jumps to the front and is riding about 2 bike lengths off the front going hard, harder, harder trying to whittle the group down and it’s working. I’m red lined (this is a great warm up by the way 10min into racing, try it sometime if you haven’t already) but I’m hanging in 4th or 5th wheel with mostly 3’s, there was another 45 guy but he cracked. There’s a Pen Velo guy (soon to be my break away companion), a few Squadra guys, and another few random teams that are all hanging together just behind Carl as the road just get’s steeper and goes on for what seems like an eternity. Carl is putting on the pressure, I look back I don’t see my TB team mates, were going harder and harder, redline, redline, I’m not losing contact but I’m gassed, good thing is so are the others! I see some old spray painting on the road 1k to go some more, steep undulations, stair stepping up, 12%+, ok I’m warmed up now! The group is now about 7 guys with Carl leading the climbing, finally a slight ease in the gradient, our group is all together, then up a bit more, finally with Carl shifting into a bigger gear and getting ready to sprint for the KOM, I was right on his wheel but to late to take the KOM, Carl thanked me (I didn’t really mean to give it to him, I just didn’t know about there being a KOM, oh well) he thanked me because he knew I could out sprint him. The road went down a little for a quick recovery here at the summit but guess what not for long, up some more and our 7 man group is still together. Finally we crest what appears to be a considerable downhill and Carl is on his brakes, YES, I’m going around him with the Pen Velo rider, we blaze down this super fast, fun, twisty descent and string out the field with Chris(Pen Velo) and I leading the charge, at this point one of the Cat 3’s (not sure what club) got away and Chris later told me he had won Nevada city recently and another big race. We manage to separate Carl from our now break of 5 or so (Squadra, Pen velo, another 2 random guys, and I) this is perfect!!! I’m wishing Hans/Lance had made our group but we push on up the now rolling terrain with considerable climbing still, it’s amazing scenery, I’m really having a great time on these scenic roads with no cars and beautiful views!! As we finally reach another big descent Chris and I look back and now it’s just the 2 of us due to hitting the rollers hard (we did not let up at all after the main climb or these rollers), Chris and I are matched well except that he can really power the flats. I look down at the mileage and it’s only 25 miles, were finally at the coast!!!! We have decent separation from Carl and the others(we never got any time gaps so it was unclear as to what our gaps were. I can’t believe this was only 25 miles, I feel like we’ve ridden 50mi mostly uphill! Chris had lost his water bottle on the downhill so as we make the turn onto Hwy1 (incredible views, AGAIN!!) I see that he’s suffering so I give him enough water to keep him going, he’s doing a lot of work here so I’m getting a nice recovery with some short pulls but he did a lot of work. At a certain point we come up to a place on Hwy 1 where there’s some construction and there’s a temporary stop light guess what, It’s RED!! there’s cars sec coming on the one open lane, we STOP!! Waiting, waiting, 10 sec- 15sec, no more cars it’s still red but we can’t wait with a a chasing field, we risk it and fly down the one lane with potential oncoming traffic, phew, no cars we make it through. At one point we looked back and could see chasers coming at 1min back so we put our heads down and dig deeper on the coast into the wind.I keep giving Chris sips of water (glad I carried 3 large bottles) we knew the neutral was at mile 40 so I was conserving with only about 3/4 of a bottle left and still another climb before water stop. We finally make a right turn and climb up some more 2+ miles to the neutral water. I also want to say that I cramp in heat typically, but with a good amount of training recently and some great racing at Mt Hood I was feeling strong.
One of the things I did though to help combat the heat was to start taking electrolytes (I use brand name: Electrolyte Stamina) the night before and have packets to take in the am and during the race (worked great no cramps). The coast was much cooler but it was already getting hot up the 1st climb. Next year I’ll carry more water if they only have 1 neutral feed. Chris and I are keeping a hard effort on all the time both up the climbs and on the rollers, not much flat road at all, even on the coast it was a head wind all the way up to the turn. Up, up and finally it’s the OSMO neutral support (Nirvana!!) relief, this is perfect we each get 2 bottles, saved! Turn back on the gas with renewed energy from hydration, power up the remaining rollers, up, up mostly. We pass Greg who is pushing on his own, we pass Eric, keep going. We pass Ken walking his bike (flat, he was in the lead, sorry to see him there), keep pushing with Chris, trade pulls up the last rollers, then DOWN to Hwy 128! We pass a swimming spot, I wish I could jump in the cold water, but no time to think about the heat, slam the last of my electrolytes, hydration, push on.
We get to Hwy 128, make the right start to catch Piers, he’s riding well, legs are ok no cramps!!!! Temps about 100deg now, keep pushing we catch 1st place Cat 3, he’s smoked, cramping, Chris starts pulling, I roll up to him and say let the other guy pull since now there in the lead for 1st place in the 3’s ( I want my breakaway companion Chris to win the 3’s). Chris sits back, then at about 3.5mi to go Chris attacks his competition, great move!! they were both cramping, but Chris goes anyway, drops the other 3! Chris is out of sight up the final climb, I’m happy for him. We hit the final grueling hill another run up the 12% + 2.5mi climb to the finish (2nd time up this) the now 2nd place Cat 3 guy is in front of me but blows up on the hill, I slowly pull away from him and drop him, keep climbing, up, up, its sweltering hot but at least there’s tree cover. No cramps yet, hit the 1k to go mark, I’m red lined up this final section, see the line, I take a final look back, no one coming, sprint to get as fast a time as possible, I”I’m DONE!!! Hans comes across in 2nd place, then Lance in 5th!!! It was an amazing race for both Hans and I. So much fun racing here. I couldn’t have done it without Chris, helping so much. Finish time about 3hr46min. Carl didn’t come across until about 9min later from me, he’s a super nice guy. Turns out Hans beat Carl up on the descent also and got rid of him before the final climb to the finish. Great racing!