2012 New Hampshire 100

With Jeremiah, Tinker and a great bunch of other riders who beat me earlier this year, I was really wondering I would fair.

The course starts with a lot of flat wide roads; not so much a factor on the first lap but I was already feeling the pain for the 2nd lap. Flat roads are something that I really don’t like; I pedal extremely hard, yet everybody is faster than me…

I started the race with one bottle and no gels; I figured the cool temperature will allow me to reach my drop bag at mile 25 with no problems. As I came and told my number to the volunteers, there were no actions. I was wondering if we indeed arrived to the correct aid station or not. Jeremiah and I were ready to turn back but with the confusion we thought that there might be another aid just up the road… well there wasn’t.

Anyway, we reached the Strava challange. What a better opportunity to test the legs? Jeremiah, Justin Lindin and Tinker Juarez joined me in at the front. Few miles later, the trail get extremely steep and only Jeremiah could go up without any dismount; he did not seemed tired from his efforts the previous weekend at the Leadville 100.

Our group stayed in tied formation until Jeremiah experienced a flat tire around mile 45. I was running the beefier tires and thought that I carried all this rotating mass for a purpose… so I went to the front and increased the tempo… My Specialized Epic was working beautifully; it was definitely saving me some energy each time the trail was rough. I was expecting Jeremiah to join back rapidly; all I was hoping was to make him work a little harder…

With the faster tempo, Justin started to yoyo behind Tinker and I until he was no longer to be seen. The trails were great and the both of us had a great time. However, the aid station at mile 48 was not going fast enough… I was running on fumes; I have no idea how I could went so far with only one bottle and no food… At the aid, I grabbed my bottle along with Hammer gels… Yes I left only one bottle there; but after all it is only 14 miles to the start/finish area for the 2nd loop.

On the long flats, Tinker was unable to relieve me at the front… But at least Jeremiah was nowhere to be seen. In the first major climb Tinker lost some ground… It was a long ride to the finish… I was really giving it all to the limit of the legs seizing up. The closer to the finish, the more I feared a late surge of anybody behind me. However it did not happen and I reached the finish in first place… another 2 miles I think I would have passed out; I was so exhausted…

I am sure that all my competition will come for revenge at the Shenandoah 100…especially Jeremiah being on his home turf…I can only hope my legs will feel as good as they did today… then I should be in the mix for a podium spot.

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