Surprising no one, I attacked at the start of the first stage into a block headwind. Patrick from Contender came across, and we held the smallest of gaps for the longest of times. Eventually we got some breathing room. Just before we hit the climb proper, C-Hoff (RADDDDD) and Ben from Porculized came across. Apparently we had six minutes at this point, but I had no clue as we never got a split. All day. This was apparently the perfect storm of non-climber dudes in the early move, as I somehow got the KOM at the 10,000′ summit. One cool thing with bike racing is that there’s always something new you can do. I had never won a KOM. Strike that off the list.
Anyway, we rolled pretty good until around 30K to go when we got site of the group coming up behind us. We had a pretty solid lead still, but C-Hoff decided to sit on and that was the end of it. I tried to keep it rolling as I would give myself pretty good odds for the stage race if this was the final. Not surprisingly, I let Cameron know what I thought of his decision, but you know, whatever, it worked out for them. Them being RADDDD. D.
So we got caught around 10k to go and RADDDDDDD starts sending guys one at a time. Unfortunately, I was pretty fried and couldn’t help much. Ben and Sam were giving it as much as possible, but eventually Gardie Radd got away. Couldn’t happen to a better looking guy. Then, RADDDD lit us up in the group sprint too. I wound up 4th and did a bit of whining.
The next morning was the TT and I was tied for the lead as the officials somehow gave Gardie same time as us, and he had a 15 second bonus for winning. I got the same for the KOM. Unfortunately, G-Love is really good at time trialling and I am less so. To that point, Sandy beat me despite not racing yet this year and being a med student. He was telling everyone he rode “Merckx style”, but the only thing he was missing was a disc, so don’t believe the hype. He’s been top 10 in the county in the TT (pros included), so what can I say? He’s gifted. Anyway, I dropped to 8th on G.C., and my teammies Sam moved into 4th, Ben into 5th. Gardie Radd and Bryson Raddd were 1st and 2nd on G.C., with two other teammates within a minute, so were kinda hosed.
The crit in the afternoon was really freaking hard. We had a plan to try to get a stage win and move Sam onto the G.C. podium. It half way worked with Sam getting in a break with Bryson. This was good enough for me, but eventually C-Hoff and and Brad from Canyon got up there too. Hindsight maybe I should have tried to make the junction at this point too, but I didn’t want the break to be absorbed after all the work Sam had done. Bryson dumped everyone the last time up the hill to win the stage and the G.C. Gardie bumped into 2nd. Sam was third on the stage and made it into the same G.C. spot. Ben ended up 5th. I was 8th, and I think Nate was 12th. Sam made out pretty well on primes in the crit too, so we ended up with some decent loot. Not compared to RADDDD tho!
It was a hard weekend as our team was riding well, but they (they being RADDDDDD) just seemed to have one more bullet in every scenario.
Big thanks to the promoters, officials, and volunteers who made this epic event happen. It absolutely remains one of my favorite races ever.
The post race party is rad with one d, although as with the past few years it’s hard to enjoy it to the max having the girls (Haley and Morgan) running rampant. Huge thanks to Kelly for watching them while I bench raced. I’m sure that was an arduous day. You are the best.
Oh yeah, I am officially changing the title from King of the Mountains to Intergalactic Ruler of the Mountains.
Ryan “Turbo” Barrett
Intergalactic Ruler of the Mountains