The weekend started off well, with good food and good company. Dave and Lynda and I had dinner friday night, along with Lynda’s husband and kids. It was a relaxing evening, perfect for a pre-race atmosphere. Lynda’s husband, Steve also helped us out with our drop bags during the race. It was a big help, so, thanks Steve! Good luck at Brianhead on Saturday.
Saturday morning Dave and I headed off to the start line at about 5:30AM. We rode our bikes along the dark streets of Park City, spinning easily in the cool mountain air. A few minutes later we found ourselves at the line, and Boris standing on a rock counting down to the start. “3 minutes!…..1 minute!…..5…4…3……” We were off.
After a few minutes of climbing a steep dirt road we hit the singletrack. We snaked our way up through Aspen trees, and across grassy slopes when, almost suddenly, the trail became an absolute blast. It was like being on a roller coaster. Small burst climbs, folllowed by twisty turns, and descents, banked corners, smooth dirt, beams of light illuminating the dust through the thick pines and then….we popped out high on a ridge, Park City far below us, the sun stretching over the mountains. I had an ear to ear grin, knowing, whatever pain might arrive later, that this was going to be a good day.
Stage 1 came and went quickly, ending with some tricky, fast switchbacks that drop into Park City Mountain Resort. From there, the course points upward. And upward. And then upward some more. Stage 2 began with 90 minutes of climbing. Some of it technical singletrack, some it dirt road, some of it steep doubletrack. The stage tops out at over 9300 feet.
For all the difficulty in this stage, it was still a pleasant portion of the race. The climbs are rewarded with great views, and stunning singletrack. Can I say enough about the singletrack? I had a good rythm going, and I felt really comfortable on my bike. I decended better than I ever have, even catching people on downhills. After the race a few people would comment on how fast I was descending. That is a first.
I made my way up the Tour de Homes climb, knowing that at the top I would be done. I crossed the line with a big smile on my face, pleased with my time, and the effort I put in. Boris happened to be at the finish line as I rolled through. I shook his hand, and congratulated him on a job well done.
The E100 now looms. I have a better idea of what we are all in for with that one. It will be a beast. But I can’t wait for it.