August 23 & 24
Hub City Bicycle Lift Center Racing
Finished Official RR Season In Style!
David and I started Saturday morning with the 4 mile TT on top of Raccoon Mountain, finishing 1st and 3rd. Our Crit started at 4:55 that afternoon on slightly wet roads. After getting stuck behind a couple of guys who did not get clipped-in and playing catch-up for the first few laps, we both stayed within the first third of the field of 55 throughout the race. 10 minutes into the race, both of us were in a brief 4 rider break for a couple of laps, but were caught by a fast field (26.7 mph average). Unfortunately, David crashed with 2 or 3 laps to go, getting carried too far out into the barricades exiting corner 3. With 1.5 laps to go, I chased down a 1-person break. I entered the final sprint well positioned in 3rd place but was not able to jump the other 2 riders, finishing 3rd. Sunday’s road race progressed uneventful until we reached the base of the final climb up Raccoon Mountain. David and I stayed in the middle of the field during the first 30 miles. Brent Ferrell from Treehouse Racing led the charge up the first 700 feet of the climb, quickly dropping riders until we were down to a lead group of 6-7 with David following closely in 9th place. Following the brief downhill, I picked up the pace with 1 mile and 400 feet of climbing to go and our group dwindled to 4 riders. I attacked with 200 meters to go but was unable to hold off a strong 15 year old from Georgia (Gabriel Mendez) who finished ½ a wheel length in-front of me. I placed 2nd and David 9th, concluding a great CAT 4 race weekend with me winning the Omnium and David placing 4st.By Georg Pingen
I love this race because of the venue and especially the order of events which help you to maximize your performance and use of time. I had another good time trial for the start finishing in 18th in the 40+ and getting first place points in the 60+. I think I have won every 60+ time trial this year, which is a great improvement in an event which has usually been one of my weakest. The criterium went off at 2:40p in the heat of the day but with no rain. We had a huge field of close to 60 riders and maintained a 26+ mph the entire time. Every time I looked at my Garmin we were going 28-30 so I thought we went faster. The Hub City riders of Randy, Joe, Octavio and myself all rode consistently high in the pack and looked great. There are some great pics on the event website. I felt great but as usual, I just couldn’t get near the front for the sprint and finished back in the lead field but getting some more good points for the 60+ group. The road race was great and I had my best ever climb up Raccoon Mountain. There are basically three climbs on the course, each one getting more difficult. The first comes at about mile 9 and is fairly steep but not overly long. I felt very weak on this climb and as I crested the top, Tim Taylor came by me and gave me a great pull back onto the lead group. At this point I was concerned about how I might climb the rest of the way. The next climb comes at mile 20 and is the infamous stair step climb which goes on for about three miles. When the pack wants to climb hard, this hill can leave a lot of carnage in its wake. This time the pace was steady and not too bad. Unlike the first climb I felt great on this one and felt like I could have attacked or chased down most any surge that might happen. We did lose a number of riders on this climb and the pack consolidated down to about 40 of the 60 starters. The chase down the back side of the stair step is a lot of fun and the best part of the race, We were hitting 45-50 mph with little effort. The group stayed together until the bottom of the climb and then it was every man for himself. The 60+ riders all consolidated together at this point and we had a great battle up the climb. We lost Ron Wilson early and it became a battle between myself, Jack Evans from Kentucky and Tom R. (If you saw his name you would understand) a mountain goat from Asheville. We stayed together until 500m with Jack surging ahead and Tom gapping me near the line. I finished in 22nd overall and third in 60+ but with a PR up the mountain which was a great result for me.by Tom Gee