...fast forward to mile 29 of the 35 mile race. I was roughly 3 ½ hours into my race and as the CD Trail climbed up to its intersection with the V trail I got a glimpse of 2nd place. I hadn’t seen Bryan since the opening few miles of the race but I had closed the gap to 400 yards with 6 miles to go. I kept my pace steady and began strategizing my final attack. The term “attack” is relative on a snow bike since we are barely going 5-6 mph uphill despite being redlined. Bryan was not slowing down so it took me 5 miles to close the gap down to 25 yards and I didn’t have much left in the tank as we turned onto the final straight along the highway towards Togwotee Lodge. I tried to slow my breathing and recover for just a minute before making my final move. With 100 yards to go before crossing the highway I dropped two cogs and closed the gap down to five yards but Bryan responded and had enough juice left to burst ahead and ride into the lodge two seconds ahead of me. It was an excellent finish to a great race. I haven’t pushed that hard for that long in a while and it felt good.
And they're off!
I was excited for this race for a few reasons. I was coming into the race somewhat rested since my race at Old Pueblo only lasted 9 hours instead of 24, and I was anxious to see how my lower back would feel after a couple weeks of focused stretching & some yoga.
As usually, the early pace was fast and it took me about ten minutes to settle down and get into a groove. I also stopped early to let some air out of my tires for improved traction on the climbs. Our local fast-guy, Carey Smith, set a blistering pace and was soon out of sight. Strung out behind Carey were Bryan Safarik from SLC, Hamilton, and Bergy, followed by me at distance. Bergy and I passed Hamilton before the V Trail and traded positions early on the K Trail until I stopped again to let more air out of my tires. Every time the trail straightened out I could see Bergy ahead hammering in classic Bergy time-trialing style but I was determined to catch him. Near the end of the K Trail I finally caught up and we rode together for quite a while until I was able to pull ahead on a sustained climb.
My fueling was perfect. I mixed 8 scoops (800 calories) of Carbo Rocket 333 with 75 oz of water in my Osprey bladder and I took in roughly 400 calories of EFS Gel. I drained my pack with 20 minutes to go.
In their first real test, the 100mm rims rode great. However, I have some more work to do to gain the use of my 34T cog in the back but the additional float and stability with the 100s is probably worth it. I only had the use of five out of six cogs in the rear for the race and it would have been nice to have more gears. I’ll have more on the 100mm rim project later this week.
My average HR for the 4:15:00 race was 159 and I spent a lot of time above 170!
Full results and pics are posted on the Togwotee Winter Classic website.