Got up this morning and had a good breakfast in the room, oatmeal, raisins and a banana. Met the guys downstairs and we went out and rode for about 45 min, stopping at a Starbucks and getting some good joe!
Left for Devils Den State Park, and amazed when I got down south of Fayetteville. Some big hills down here, (I have never seen Rockies up close). Driving down into the valley was like swirling around in a toilet. Got to the bottom and got unpacked. Punk Rock Cycling was nice enough to lend us their trailer for the week!
Helmet and bike put together, it was time to get numbers pinned and relax for the next 1.5 hours. My scheduled time off of the start ramp was 4:22. Started warming up around 1:30 and got a good warm up in = climbing back out of Devils Den == 10 min climb, warmed up for about 45 minutes with a nice 5 min piece to open the legs up the climb. Legs were feeling good.
Pulled up to the start line a little late (30 sec to spare) and got ready to go, took a deep breath and was off. Started out fairly fast and then hit the climb. This climb was flattish for .8 miles and then kicks up for the next 2 miles. Found a decent rhythm with a slight tail/cross wind and already saw the heartrate going above 185 and feeling ok. 30 sec man was up the road the whole day and by the end I had almost caught 1 min man. Coming to the line the lungs and legs were burning, and started to close my eyes towards the end fending off the visual pain of going up and up. Finished with a time of 10:29 which was good for 61 place out of 106 starters. The ride data :
Avg. HR 191
Max HR 197
Rode back to the bottom and then spun around for another 15 min to rest the legs. Changed and back to Bentonville. Duey ended up 3rd, 5 seconds in the rears of Bill Gault of Tulsa Tough and Joe Schmalz of Mercy Cycling Team. Great place for tomorrow as for the first time in 3 years, Duey gets to be on the offensive, and takes a lot of pressure off my shoulders to set tempo. Will try to keep him fueled and in position. Paul/Lou and Jeff Bradley are with and boy what a group to learn stuff from, I am still trying to absorb tactics and stratagies. This race is won on time bonuses at the finish. Hope luck is on our side tomorrow!