Race Report: Whiskey 50
Mittwoch 8. Mai 2013
After Sea Otter, we loaded up the Ergon sprinter van and headed to AZ to work the booth and race the Whiskey 50. Before the event actually started, we had some good catch up time for work and enjoyed some warm temperatures and singletrack.
Each year, we stay at our favorite hotel. I highly highly recommend you stay at the MOTOR LODGE. It’s owned by some really amazing guys who make it feel almost like you’re staying at their house. They are friendly and fun. The Motor Lodge also has a really fun social feel with a couple little outdoor fireplaces where most people hang out and have a drink. Each room has a lot of detail put into it and is unique with a funky, fun retro look.
We set up the Ergon booth on Friday. We sold through a bunch of our SM3 mountain bike saddles. The GS series grips were the top selling model as well! Friday evening, we shut down the booth to race the Pro Fat Tire Crit.
Some people toed the line with slick tires. Personally, I didn’t want to make the effort so I rode the tires I was riding during the 50 on Sunday. The Fat Tire Crit is a great event because it involves a beer garden a couple hundred spectators cheering on their favorite pros! I didn’t want to max out at the crit. I put in some good efforts without burying myself and had a great time!
I even took 2 Coors handups from the Drunk Cyclist aide station. BIG thanks to everyone who was out there cheering! That crit would suck without you and believe me, that wall where you were all lined up got harder and harder every lap despite my cheshire grin! I think I was 18/50 for the crit…not bad!
Saturday was another day working the booth all day. Sunday morning, we lined up at 8:40AM sharp for the start of our race. I was really excited to see such a huge and talented women’s pro field. Epic Rides has done a phenomenal job reviving the sport of mountain biking. For starters, there was a HUGE expo with over 70 vendors, over 1300 amateur races, food, drinks, and live music all day on Saturday. For our race, there was equal payout – $40,000 to be split between the men and women paying 12 deep. They will be duplicating their events around the country. The next one is in Grand Junction over Labor Day – Grand Junction Off-Road
I’ll keep my race report brief! I was feeling pretty intimidated lining up in the field of women.
Photo: MTB Race News
I lined up in the third or fourth row. I wasn’t sure how I’d be feeling after working the booth and the 2 week road trip. I didn’t have any high expectations for myself. The reason was I didn’t want to feel disappointed if I didn’t ride well. However, the fact was that I have been riding much stronger this year and I was afraid of what it would mean if I didn’t ride faster this year.
I was pleasantly surprised to find myself riding very close to the front group with racers I have always considered much faster. I kept thinking, “I don’t know how I’m up here…maybe I shouldn’t be riding up here…” and then I’d tell myself, “No, this is where you’re at and it’s a good thing, keep going!”
Photo: Dave McElwaine
I ended up riding most of the race with Amanda Carey and Teal Steton Lee. Amanda came around me around mile 15 and dangled ahead. Teal and I went back and forth. She dropped me hard core on the long downhill and there was some dualing up the Skull Valley Climb. She came around, passed me and some others ahead.
It was really hot and I was pushing myself very hard for the whole race. It was great to have the fitness to be able to push that hard for 50 miles. Around mile 40 and near the top of the climb, my legs felt crampy and I tried to keep pushing. Just after entering the singletrack, my legs cramped horrendously, like they’ve never cramped before. It was unbelievably painful. I was screaming in pain trying to straighten my legs off the pedals and keep rolling. I had to stop and move slowly. Once it subsided, I could continue but at a much slower pace… about 25 beats (heart rate) below what I was doing before. I rode in and finished 17th. I think I was riding 12th-15th ish before my legs started to shut down, but it sounds like most people cramped.
Photo: MTB Race News
I was excited to ride strong and for me, 17th place was a real accomplishment in the caliber of field. It was also SO great to see my racing friends again. This was my first race in the US of 2013. It’s going to be a stellar year with great adventures!
We celebrated a great weekend at our new favorite Prescott restaurant - Prescott Station. I highly recommend the Elk Fajitas and Flourless Chocolate Brownie. HEAVEN.
The next day, I hit the road back to Boulder. I was glad to get home after 2 weeks on the road and sleep in my own bed! 2 days later, it dumped another 10 inches of snow. The winter that won’t go away!