Monday, May 4, 2009

Rabbit Mtn 45+ TTT: 2nd

Race Results and Report: Rabbit Mountain Time Trial, Hygiene, CO - Vic's Espresso
Author: Joe Paulson

After days of deteriorating weather forecasts, race day for the Rabbit Mountain time trial dawned cool but dry and calm, perfect weather for our team's race. As he had the week before at Haystack, Burt crushed all in the ITT, Spanky rode to an impressive 4th, and Joe finished 6th (JT had a little issue with his race #, and the clock left the start house without him).

With 3 riders in the top 6 in the ITT, we were looking pretty solid for the TTT, but Mix1 placed all 4 of their TTT riders in the top 8, so we knew we had our hands full. Burt lead us out smoothly and got us settled down before starting the rotation. We were smooth and balanced heading west on the flats, and felt fast. When we turned north and headed uphill, we overcooked the start of the climb, but settled back quickly into an appropriate pace.

On the climb, it became apparent that Burt and Mike had brought their "A" games, and Joe and JT were in for an episode of "Survivor: Rabbit Mountain". Joe foolishly tried to be a hero and maintain long pulls. Thinking back post-race at Burt's awesome 7th finish at Lookout Mountain the day before, Joe realized that he should have known that when the road tilted up, Burt was going to slam us into the hurt locker.

Sure enough, Joe and JT were dangling by a thread and begging for mercy as we hit the top of the next to last climb and rounded the corner bound for the brief downhill respite. Burt pulled down and around the corner to base of the final climb to provide a chance to recover, but Joe and JT were deep in the red zone. With Burt and Mike offering encouragement, Joe and JT tried to find anything left to get up that wall to stop the clock. Finally smelling the finish line, Joe clawed across to put the race out of his misery.

Now we could only wait (and try to uncross our eyes), as our biggest threats had started 2 minutes (Vitamin Boys) and 4 minutes (Mixers) behind. After 2 minutes had ticked by, we knew we'd dodged one bullet, and we urged the clock on. About a minute and a half later, though, 3 Mix1's came through one by one, to hand us our first TTT defeat in years, taking the victory by 25 seconds or so. We were disappointed, but we didn't hang our heads because we rode hard and well, but were soundly beaten by a great ride from a very good team.

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