Yeah, the new state chump is my man Mike Booth. It’s going to be tough for me to keep this brief, but I’ll give it a shot. I gotta congratulate the Utah cycling scene as this race had way more depth and tactical nuance than it did a few years ago. And yes, that’s a bit of a dig at myself as that was when I was winning on this course. I don’t care. We had at least four teams and several individuals that were not settling being “in the break”, but were racing for the win. Really good to see.
Anyway, our pre-race plan was basically everyone except Sleevie would cover moves, and he basically had a pass to chill all day unless something went with all the hitters. The reason is that even though the hill is quite hard, the bulk of the rest of this course is downhill and it’s really easy to chase on. We had a couple mishaps with Sleevie flatting on the first lap. Later, I managed to somehow wrap my chain around the cranks and had to stop and fix it. This was in the lead in to the climb on the fourth of 5 laps, and I thought I was done when I caught back, but managed to get over the climb. From there, I knew I would get popped on the final climb, so I just tried to get in breaks with other guys that were struggling on the climb or to make other teams chase. Cole Sport attempted to do a lead-out into the climb. For people who know the course, they had been on the front a couple miles before the left turn. Dustin (from the 12kdreamteam) made a great move from the turn, which meant CS had to go full gas before the steep part of the climb. Long story short, at the top of the climb it was Nate Page (Barbacoa), Sleevie, Ben and Dustin (all dreamers!) with a small gap on another ~7 guys. All of this I am telling 2nd hand as I popped like a balloon on the climb. It came back together over the top and our boys hammered to the finish. Clinger jumped early and first, but Sleevie got right around him and solidly took out the V. Clinger and someone (I’ll update when I find out who) were tied for 2nd when I left. They couldn’t tell who got it from the finish camera.
Unfortunately, perennial favorite and UCA leader, the Hardwood crashed not far from the line destroying his frame and shifter. Tough luck for the toughest of tough guys, but I’m sure he’ll bounce back with all new fury. We’ve all seen it before.
Sleevie has been through the ringer the last couple with nearly two years out with knee injuries only the tip of the iceberg. I couldn’t be more proud of my buddy and my team.