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Full podium at Leesville Gap for the 35+123s

Race: Masters 35+ 1/2/3 Leesville Gap
IDTB’ers: myself, Paul D, Ken G, Chris P. (In other words, we were 1/4 of
the field.)
Weather: Hot, hot, hot.
Result: Well, not to be immodest, but we swept.

This race was like a three-week Grand Tour in three hours of racing:
promenade roll-out, cobblestones (miles of them), selective climb (3.5mile,
with 1000ft gain), hair-raising descents and (this year, just like in the
TdF) a team time trial.

The race plan was to set me up for the win so I could get a matching T-shirt
from when I won in 2007. (In that race, I won a three-man sprint of Billy
Innes and some unknown climber named Chris Phipps. I think that was the
first & last time that’ll happen.)
Right from the start, Chris and Ken worked the front to keep a solo guy at
30secs until we hit the approach to the climb. Phipps was
uncharacteristically reserved on the climb, but we nonetheless put down a
good tempo to where it was just us four and two others (Jason Boynton from
Folsom and a guy from Audi, who flatted at abt 10miles after we came off the
climb.) So down to 5 in the break, and 4 were wearing the same jersey.
Jason was doing his work, but starting to look a little ragged, so at the
feed-zone hill, we decided to pull out the knives. Chris attacked, forcing
Jason to close. Then, Ken attacked, forcing Jason to close. Then, Chris went
again. As Ken came back to me, I told him if Jason closes this one down, he
and I are gone.
So with 20miles remaining, Ken and I were away. Paul also bridged up to us
and so the three of us just cranked through to the end. (We covered the
final 20miles in 45mins, with my average HR for that time at 170.)
Paul and Ken were generous enough to give me a win, not to mention first
crack at the watermelon slices afterward.
At some point, Chris dropped Jason and came rolling in on his own for
fourth, only a bit behind us.

So a great day for the Bears, and gives a nice boost ahead of some serious
racing later this month. Ken goes international to take on a bunch of
Frenchies for the next two weeks, and then a few of us have a date in Bend
for Cascade. With a team like this, though, we will be rolling strong.

Brenon Daly

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