|The new bike.|
I went home to eat some bacon, refill on water and snacks and check in with the race volunteers at the Brick Oven. On to loop two which brings riders up and over Slate d'Huez which is a brutal forest road climb. Here I passed about 5 other riders and felt really good. Once I got to the top I knew I needed to haul down 403 which is a very technical and steep decent, I did just that. After I dropped down on to Gothic Road, I started another long prolonged climb up to Schofield Pass and eventually the climb up 401. At this point I was almost out of water, I was carrying 24 and 16 ounce bottles in my cages. I started to worry about dehydration. I savored my last bit as I got to the top of the 401 climb. All out of water and very thirsty I descended down the fast and flowey 401. This year the race included lower 401 which has a few power climbs, this was no easy task after 60 miles of riding behind me. I was super thirsty at this point and was thinking I would stop in the town of Gothic at the Maroon Hut to fill up at the spigot. I never ended up getting water, and started biking up Gothic Road again at a pretty good pace.
|Me on the Dyke Trail a week earlier.|
As I rode down to town by way of the Wagon Trail, I felt very accomplished. Not only will I finish the race but I think I did a heck of a job overall. Sure, I could probably ride these trails in my sleep, but I was stoked. I finshed the remainder of Kebler Pass and rode into town. I arrived at the Brick Oven to be beyond surprised with a 5th place finish. A amazing experience for my first Endurance race, I think I'll try another!