But to begin, let's start with the real news--I am the Iceman! In what would turn out to be a very tame race, I took off from the start line and never saw anyone again. Ever. This was the result. (I know, scroll down to the Sport men 15-18. I was sandbagging a bit)
Backtracking a little bit, 5 minutes before the race I thought all hell had broken loose. I was overly anxious because I hadn't raced in over two months. I BROKE MY CHAIN 10 minutes before the start of the race and slammed HARD onto some "soft tissue" areas on the stem because I was standing up when the chain broke.
Needless to say, I needed a qucik fix. As usual, Murphey's Law applied here: We left our toolbox with the chaintool and a spare chain back at the cabin. Wonderful.
So no one else has a chain powerlink that I can fix my bike with. You know, the 2200 people who enter this race are never prepared, of course, for the most common mechanical errors.
Fast forward five minutes and increase my frustraition level 10x. I am silently swearing under my breath as Gary trys to calm me down. After a failed attempt to salvage the chain by pushing together 2 busted links with a new pin, Warren walks by and I get his attention asap--luckily, he has a chain. Warren is ALWAYS prepard for the worst...thanks Warren!
Pulling a record time for a chain swap, I rushed to the start gate right as I heard 10, 9, 8, 7....Goooooo!. I jumped the start gate and took off from the back of the pack, expecting to have to waste a lot of energy playing catch up with the race leaders.
2 minutes later I'm sitting at the front of the race with Tim Pacholski, and I'm wondering what the catefory "Sport" means in Michigan. Feeling totaly held back, I took off before the first narrow section of singletrack and never saw anyone again. Not once. That is, I didn't see anyone else from my wave ever again. I still had to pass though the Clydesdales, Tandems, Women, Singlespeeds, and all the Expert men in order to catch Cole, who started 10 min in front of me. I figured since he said he was out of shape, anything was possible.
I felt great the entire race. At the one road intersection with 9 miles to go in the race, I came FLYING by Gary, who was supposed to pass me a water bottle. I was so focused on the race that I didn't even see Gary until the last second--and then, I dropped the bottle. Knowing I had the lead secure, I went back and picked it up, sacrificing a bit of time for a happy stomach at the end of the race.
I continued to fly up the hills on my new Giant XTC composite. God, that bike is fast. Sure, the Specialized Epic is fast, but the Giant XTC is like the Epic on an EPO and Caffiene buzz; it just goes when you tell it to.
I came across the line with my arms in the air and a victory grin on my face. Too bad no one was there to witness it! Since I was in the middle of the Expert waves by the time that I finished, everyone thought that I was just a mid pack expert rider finishing up. Whoo-Hoo!
Cole was already cooled down and chilling past the finish area, telling tall tales of his long, harsh, personally mortifying solo breakaway from the pack. Needless to say he won his wave, and almost the entire Expert class. Not bad for a Junior Cyclist on a budget (who apparantly has not trained since WORS Sheboygan...)
So the race rocked. I won some decent cash and a leaders ICEMAN jersey (so you know my new nickname out on the trail, ya know?). Cole and I should have both raced Expert, that way Team 2 could have duked it out 1-on-1 style for the overall titile. That would have warrented some SERIOUS attention from the sponsors on site, like SRAM, Hammer Nurtion, Trek, and oh so many more.....oh well! At least Cole won (in his Endevour road jersey at that).
I dragged everyone out of bed at 2:45am the next morning to get back home in time to build the new Fuji road bike and head back to Mad Town with D-Fowler. I hit the nail on the head--after driving for three hours in a torrential downpour and 40mph gustiing winds, the snow hit. Yes, 5-6 inches of fresh UP snow blanketed the road for us on the way HOME from the ICEMAN. 34 hours earlier and the above race report would have be 100% different.
Somehow we made it home. I dragged myself to JB Cycle and built the Fuji...and its beautiful. No more need to complain that my bike is slow because its ugly. 16.7lbs fully built up.
I have so much more to say, but time's a wastin' and sleep is needed tonight. Needless to say, i am wasted. Good night, Icemen.