Pine Flat might be one of the best road race courses I’ve seen. Great scenery, very safe roads, little traffic, but an early start 4.5 hours drive from anywhere.
Stayed in Clovis at Hilton Homewood which is a great spot if you decide to go next year.
Eric Lagier was busy dominating Copper Town, so I at the race solo looking forward to some nice climbs. Clearly so were 8 of the guys in the group who had their sights set on this race due to the big climb near the finish (Wildcat) and then the steep uphill finishing last kilometer.
The race started out at a snail’s pace with no one willing to go to the front. As I was starting to get cold I kept going up there to keep us from being swallowed up by the fields behind us. After the turn-around at 11 miles the pace increased a bit and it warmed up. Fortunately I had Danielle waiting at the side of the road as we passed the start again at 22 miles and I tossed away my vest. After 30 miles the pace really went up with everyone pulling through for short turns. No action until the rollers started at mile 45 when there were a few attacks off the front. One stuck with 2 guys going away and dangling at 300-500 yards up the road. One came back towards the field but I was happy to sit near enough to the front with the other climbers making sure he didn’t get too far out of sight. As we passed mile 50 and some more rollers only the skinny climbing types remained. I waited until it got a little bit steeper at mile 52 and then just went off the front as hard as possible. I could see the last guy off the front 100 meters ahead and used him as a springboard, reeling him in within a few seconds and then I was totally clear with no one within sight within a couple minutes. Kept up a high pace to the top of the Wildcat climb, fast descent, then just kept increasing the gap all the way to the line and finished 3 minutes clear of 2nd place. Love the course, the climb and getting out of Cat 5 to join the Cat 4s for Snelling. Submitted my upgrade request already.
For all race results see here.