Plopping down into my sleeping bag on the deck of a vacant house we borrowed, I looked out over Park City. My stomach was happily full of fish tacos, blueberry bagels, and whatever else I could find. Why is it that so few places make good fish tacos? There are a million places that make an "okay" fish taco... I lay there trying not to think about the next morning where I would be pulled from my slumber at 5:30.
An alarm from the Rocky soundtrack pounded into my ears and I looked at my clock. 5:10? I still had 20 more minutes. When it sounded again five minutes later I knew it was time to get going. After eating a large bowl of cereal with my makeshift spoon (my hands), I got my stuff together and the team headed out the door to the starting line. We warmed up a bit and made last minute adjustments on our bikes. At 6:50 we were off.
It was a mellow pace all through Kamas and Midway. When we turned up the Alpine Loop, Eric and I just sat on the wheels of the guys leading the race and made sure we didn't expend any energy that we didn't have to. Slowly the pack thinned out until there were five of us in the lead group. We made the summit and started down the decent.
We happened upon the crash as the ambulances were getting the guys taken care of. Life Flight buzzed overhead and then headed back down the canyon in search of a place to land. After waiting for 15 minutes or more the ambulances made their way down and we were allowed through... I have never seen that much blood... The cyclist went through the back window of the SUV at around 40 mph. It cut him from his ear down to the top of his sternum which severed his jugular. If it weren't for some EMT trained cyclists... the guy is lucky to be alive. The whole thing was bad. It was bad for the injured cyclists, their families, the race, and for all of us racing. for the whole story check out this link- http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=7636047
The race continued onward and was pretty much a re-start because everyone was standing around for so long that all the time gaps went away. We had about 5 minutes on anyone behind us when we hit the top of the loop. The climb up Suncrest was a lot of fun though. It thinned out quick and we retook the lead. When we made the decent I am sure I hit my all time fastest speed. Eric had 55 mph on his computer and I pulled away from him pretty quick so I think I was pretty close to 60 mph at my fastest. With the cross wind I had about a 5 foot swing with each gust.
I started to get dehydrated and was sick of sports drinks, I just wanted water... I didn't get it until the top of wasatch... I got dehydrated, stopped eating and bonked. There went the race. Eric left me in the dust and powered his way ahead of anyone else. He finished almost 10 minutes ahead of second place. I came in about 20 minutes behind him. 12th place. Stupid mistakes. But 5 hours and 27 minutes ride time isn't all that bad for that ride. I think it will be an easy time to beat the next time I ride that course.
Little Cottonwood is always miserable but, in the thick of bonking, it was the worst time I have ever had on a climb. I finally felt I could cram some food and it hit me with about 500 meters to go. I was able to pound out that last little bit pretty dang quick. There are always "what if's" and "I should have's"... Live and learn. I am glad I got some things figured out with this one and I wont be so dumb during the Lotoja.
Zazoosh.com took these of the race if you couldn't tell.