After finishing 2nd in the Whiteface Uphill Footrace two weeks earlier, returned for more punishment. First in line was the Bike race with King of the Mountain on the line. This race was on Saturday @ 17:30 with the Mountain Bike race starting the next morning @ 06:30. Was not looking forward to this double.
Fortunately William my seven year old and Backcountry Bob came along for the weekend to help with logistics.
Whiteface for some reason is split into a wave start and this year the wave start was splintered again. This was disconcerting to say the least. Wish they would have an elite wave for hte individuals wishing to race head to head. My goal was to average 320 watts for the hillclimb. Whiteface is a punishing 8 mile with an average grade of 8 1/2%. It is pretty much unrelenting. It starts in Wilmington, NY right above the stop sign and ends at the entrance to the tunnel to the elevator. The race started out with a skinny Canadian dude setting the pace, eventually Joe Tonon from Marblehead MA put on a big surge then settled down about 30 -40 seconds ahead of me. We kept passing many riders from preceding waves. Near the the top kept closing the gap and nipped Joe just at the finish line. Average Watts were exactly 320. Found out that finished second overall and first in age group. This was the first of the 2011 BUMPS series. Planning on finishing at least five of them in order to qualify for the overall standings. There are nine bicycle hill climbs in the Northeast throughout the summer.
Warming up for the hill climb on a Lemond trainer.
Will and Backcountry Bob made it to the summit. First time not summiting after a Whiteface Race due to warming down for the next days event.
Leadville qualifier Wilmington 06:00 Sunday am. Getting ready to go out and battle for 56 miles over hill and dale over many roads that many years ago used to ride on with my Wife on a Specialized Tandem Mountain Bike. This race was going to be brutal. It turned out to be too.
My support crew got up with ma at O’Dark hundred. We got to the start @Whiteface Mountain Ski area before six am. The 200+ racers among to qualify for Leadville got off with a shotgun start promptly at 06:30.
There were a couple of people who started the race on cyclocross bikes. Of not being T Sheske from Rochester and Dave McCahill from Lake Placid both strong competitors. This was a mistake . Being tempted to use a cross bike myself, there was some doubt when seeing them. Although from my experience of riding most of the course the previous sunday on my Tarmac SL3 knew that my hardtail Specialized 29’er was a better choice.
The race started out fast on the roads and split up into groups during the first approx 800′ dort road Bartlett. We roared down towards Keene Valley then slammed up Styles Brook where I climbed away from the field and rode alone until half way back up the Jay Mountain road. My support team was there at the Jay Mountain Road and WHiteface giving me bottles that were much appreciated. There I was joined by three strong professional bikers we rode along at a good clip till going back to wards Bartlette where I could only go level 2 pace from there to the finish. Feeling progessively worse. In the last 14 miles lost over 15 minutes to the leaders. While making progress towards the finish eventually Dave Mc Cahill cruised up and we suffered up Whiteface Ski area climb. Which was bond brutal. Actually had to push my bike up much of the top half. We crested the KOM point together but … On the dharowing descent the Mountain bike was the better steed.
Shortly after the race found out the reason why felt so bad for the end of the race. Gastroenteritis! Probably Viral. Started puking again and again got to revisit breakfast, then dinner.Over and over again. Actually for about 4 hours all I did was puke and lie on the ground, or floor. My friends were trying to take me to the emergency room, that was not happening.
Unfortunately cannot get the friday of before Leadville. So maybe another year will be able to make that adventure. Would not have been able to do the race with out Bob and Will helping and cheering me on.