With the weather forecast predicting a 30% chance of light rain in the afternoon, the 45+ Vic's Espresso/Peerless Tire 5-man time trial team of Bill Brant, Mike Newsome, Joe Paulson, John Talley, and Brian Todeschini had their hopes up that the overcast but dry conditions of the morning would hold until their 2:07:20 afternoon start time. It was not to be. By the time Bill and Joe arrived at their rendezvous spot in north Boulder to begin preparations, a light mist was falling, that turned into light rain during their warm-ups. By the time the boys rolled north on US 36 toward the start line, the rain was coming down in earnest, and body core temperatures were plummeting.
The Blues were shivering uncontrollably as they took their place in the start tent, but tried to focus on the task ahead. The starter counted them down, and they were off. Joe lead them out onto the course, followed by Bill, Mike, JT, and Brian. They were under way smoothly, got up to speed, and started their rotation. It was quickly apparent that on this day, the front was actually the most comfortable place to be, because following a wheel meant catching a torrent of silt-laden spray full in the face, making seeing, hearing, and breathing all a challenge.
JT powered them up the long climb, Brian pulled across the top, and Joe took them into the first corner, already on the heels of the team that started 40 seconds before them. They eased around the corner, then wound it up down Nelson Road, which was full of standing water. The water on the road, coating their glasses, and in their eyes made navigating down Nelson Road at 49 mph a matter of instinct, trust, and hope. They all kept it upright down the descents, across the bottom, and up the climb to the second turn.
Another corner safely behind them, the rolled south, the cold and wet conditions starting to really penetrate. Up and down the final hill all five were still together, and they pushed to the final turn, then sprinted the final few hundred meters to the line. As Joe led them home, the water was so blinding that he never saw a line, so he just kept going until there weren't people around any more.
The revised course due to road construction on Niwot Road meant the boys still had a long ride back to their rendezvous point, so they just kept riding in the rain and cold, holding onto their bars with shaking hands. As they headed south on 63rd, a van suddenly swung into a driveway in front of them. As they were wondering what the crazy driver was up to, out popped Neal Henderson and Jerry Greenleaf who were coming to the rescue. They threw the bikes in the back, the boys piled in, and Neal cranked the heat. They delivered Mike and Joe back to their cars in north Boulder, into which they huddled to warm up before loading up their soaked and filthy gear.
Joe headed to the registration area to check results, and found the disappointing news that Mix1 had taken top honors on the day with a time of 23:37. Cody Racing was second at 23:58, and the Vic's boys rounded out the podium just behind at 24:02. Their Haystack TTT reign ended, the boys could take solace in surviving intact the epic conditions they'll long remember.