Sunday, October 5, 2008

10hrs at John Muir - 100miles

Beautiful day matched some beautiful results. WEMS John Muir event pleased again.

One degree above freezing was the temp in the parking lot at 7am. I was getting nervous seeing all the SS's pulling in. 8 of us in total, which isn't bad. Clothing wise, I chose thick winter socks to guard my toes and a long sleeve jersey to fit over my short sleeve. My plan was to set up an easy off situation down the road once it got warmer. So I placed all of my vitals in my under jersey pockets.

The start was fast. My number one goal was to get out front. Not to so much gap the SS field, but to be able to keep my eye on everyone. If a SS was going to go off the front, I wanted to see it happen with my own eyes. I managed to pull into the pits in the lead with a slight gap on Travis Gruchow and John Shull.

Two laps had past and I was still in the mix. I was excited. However, some great fear was starting to creep in. Travis caught me towards the end of lap two. He said another SS (John) was close behind too. Travis and I ride in together. He has to pull off his pants, so I am allowed a few extra seconds of think time. Before I could even blink, John Shull flies through the pits. He didn't even stop. What do I do? Stay and wait for Travis or hop on John's wheel to keep him from gapping the field?

I had to go after the lead. About a mile into the third lap, I had caught back up with the WORS regular(John). This happened to be his first 12hr, which would explain his cross country style. He was ripping it! He really made it tough for me to hang on. None the less, I managed.

So while John and I are riding hard, Travis is dealing with a flat. You would think he was done. I thought I had gapped him enough, cause I couldn't see him at any of the long straights or switch back sections...

Just as John was done, Travis worked his way back. Travis and I start chatting. This was when he told me he was dealing with a flat. And this is when I began to worry. Not only did he bring me back, but he did it after a fluke flat. I was in trouble.

We rolled into the pits together after lap 5. At this point he had just finished a 4 mile rest and relax session while I was pacing him. He most certainly had to have been loaded with adrenalin too... When he snuck out of the pits just in front of me, he was gone. Another one off the front to strike fear into my head. Damn. I waved goodbye 3miles into our 6th lap. I just wasn't going to ride a pace that didn't belong to me. With that, my mind started to say "be done". My only unwanted pit-news from Trixie was how much of a gap he had opened up.

I ride into the pits...I couldn't see Trixie due to Travis blocking my view. He was still there as I rode in. It was a new day all over again. After all of the attacks, I wasn't up for much more. So I didn't, neither did Travis. He let me lead out of the pits for lap number 7.

Next problem - I had to pee. The last time Travis got in front he was gone. I wasn't up for trying to gap either. So held it, my pee. Then came the lap's big climb around 4.5mile marker. I turned the cranks slow, really slow. Just enough to stay on the bike. Travis had begun to let his pains show. While he walked the final push towards the top, I had just enough to do my duty. Little did I know, he waited anyways. Thanks T.

My piss marked the point in which the race had begun to lean my way. By the end of my 7th, I had stretched the lead to 10 minutes. My mind set? You have two laps to go, don't blow up. Lap 8 went without any glitches. The pits after my 9th had Travis in street clothes. He was done. His body just didn't want to do it any more. Sucks, cause this race could just of easily have been his. 2009 had better look out for this guy.

Trixie did the math and said not go out for a 10th lap. I trusted her, I really did. I just wasn't going to leave anything out there. Plus, why not hit 100 miles for the day? Not only was her math dead on, but her pit work was amazing. Over the years, she has fat out become a pro in the pits. She was a step ahead of me in every which way(when isn't she?). Pops and Moms lended some super hands as long as they could(left early to tend to the Bros's homecoming).

An awesome win turned out to be and AWESOME WIN after I went ahead and checked the series results this morning. The much needed 12hrs at John Muir victory handed me the 2008 WEMS 12hr Solo SS Series Championship!

Not only do I get to be pumped, but Chris Tamborino wins his 3rd straight WEMS 3hr Series Championship. John Gregorski places 2nd overall in the WEMS 3hr Series just behind his teammate. And the Watkins Bros, Brandon and Jordan, take claim the the WEMS 6hr Duo Series Championship. Not too bad of a WEMS season for EXPO Racing.


Mad Trix said...

Nice work to all the Expo guys. You have a real classy team. Its fun racing with you every weekend.

Unwin said...

I just wanted to keep you in the loop, I have filed protest with WEMS. The protest is on my site as it appeared in my email to race directors. I feel this is an oversight on their part and should not be taken in any other fashion than this as I have all the respect in the world for you and your team.