Quick race report for the Motana State Time Trial championship and Philipsburgs Speed Weekend. You shoulda been there.
I originally signed up for 3 of the 4 stages – I really didn’t want to do the street sprints, but in the end was pleased that I did all four stages – 40km state TT, 200 meter matched sprints, 1 km “all out”, and 3.8 mile hill climb.
Team Great Divide had a strong showing (although not strong enough to field a formal Team entry – maybe next year???). Mark Brooke, Byron Deford, Dave Hamer, Jodi Sanchez, and yours truely were there for at least one of the total four time trial stages. We also had Landon and Randy Beckner (of Helena, of course) show up for the state time trial. In addition to that venue, there were Philipsburg Street Sprints, a “Killermeter” race down the P-burg airfleld runway; and 3.8 mile TT climb up to Georgetown Lake from the bottom of the pass.
The State Time Trial championship was the first of the four event that Don Russel put together, a 40 km ride down (north, then south) Hwy 1 from P-burg and back.
The climb back from P-burg brutal. 30-seconds between riders. I had Randy Beckner on my tail down to the turn-around, after which he pulled up along side, as we made the first long “up”. That motivated me to pull a bit harder. On the way out I was at LT or slighlty above, and then bumped it up to 95% max heart rate with Randy’s motivation (also my race plan). I had two riders pass me on the way out and one more on the way back, the final rider helping to keep my pace way back up there, as a rabbit, gaining and loosing on climbs and flats. I also knew that Randy was not far behind and kept thinking – “I can beat him”. Burning legs and lungs for the last two miles, i was greatful to have that stage end! When the results were tallied Randy took gold in the 55-60 age bracket and I took silver (my time: 1:01.53 and Randy 1:01.28). Now Landon – he smoked at 0:56.?? – 24.4 miles. Does that boy have magic or what? Winning AVS was over 29 mph! Dave Hamer, Jodi Sachnez and Byron Deford also competed in the state TT, and did well too.
The second stage (200 meter matched sprints) was one i was going to sit out – the street sprints, ’cause I don’t do well at short sprints. But – hey – I was there, might was well go for the whole enchalada. Mark Brooke joined us for those and Team Great Divide had a good showing for that stage, with 4 riders (Mark, Jodi, Byron and me). I think Mark did a good job for us pulling in a first for the Master’s B’ ( I think). I hate those short flat out deals, and don’t do well at them, but, it’s what you don’t do well at that is really worth working on, if you want to get better… My results showed that i could be doing better on this one, I think I placed 4 of 6 in the “B’s”.
The third stage was the Killermeter at the Granite County airport on Sunday morning. Unfortunately, by this time quite a few of the field had left. Only the dedicated few that wanted to see the full four stages through. Again, not a strong venue for me, and I knew I woud get trounced. Sure enough – I took last place in the men’s with a time of 1 minute and 20 seconds. Again, that which I don’t like, I know I need to work on to get better. Good thing about the Killermeter – it’s over just when you think you’re gonna not be able to finish. Things are really buring up inside to go “whole hog” for a minute.
The final stage was the Hill Climb (yes! finally). The 3.8 mile climb is what I love. The climb starts out gradually and then gets steeper after the first mile with an elevation gain of about 925 feet. This I like. Overall, the winning time for this stage 9 of which were were a total of 11 riders, was 14 minute and about 50 seconds (Eric Greenberg), My time was 16 minutes and 9 seconds , which I felt was a good time for me.
The final awards ceremony was at the Seven Gables Bar and there was lots of booty to go around. I wound up with winning the Master’s B category in the Omnium. Don Russell did a great job rounding up prizes and race money. As a Master’s B, I didn’t get money (that’s not why I’m racing), but came home loaded down with all kinds of goodies – gift certificates, T-shirt, hoodie, socks, etc. , in addition to feeling really good about a great stage race. and racing with a great group of folks.
Fran came along on this venture, and we camped along Flint Creek for two nights (Friday and Saturday), which was also really nice. She provided moral and logistical support, and also was able to help out on the couse a small bit. We also got a relaxing ride up the Skalkaho Highway on Saturday afternoon together with very little traffic and drop-dead gorgeous views of the Pintlers. Fran said she had a great time:, relaxing, camping, riding, and visiting with Team (and other) friends.
SO, next year, I hope we have a much greater Team showing – put it on your calendar – you really don’t want to miss such a well organized and supported event. Several of the racers brought their families – yes there are kids races too – and it works for the whole kit and kaboodle. Phillipsbuig has lots to offer, and the Blazing Saddles race is a terrific weekend of competetition, fun, and the great outdoors.