by Gary Schobel
Mormon Lake Road Race
This was my first time racing this road race. Michael and I were racing in the Men Cat 4/5 40
+, 50+, tandems category. The course is a beautiful, rolling 16-mile circuit with 380 ft of climbing per lap and a short 6.5% climb at 8 miles. Our category was going to do three laps for a total of 48 miles.
We arrived on Friday afternoon to pre-ride the course and discuss our race strategies. Our plans were to have Michael break away half way through the second lap. It was going to be my job to block or shut down any attempts that the group would make to catch Michael and the break away group. Of course it is highly unlikely that any plans made before the race ever go exactly as planned and this race was no different. In the first lap one rider attacked and put a good gap on the group. Michael and one other rider broke away and bridged the gap.
Unfortunately, Michael and the break were caught with a half lap to go. As the categories began to bunch up, the speed increased. With the categories bunched up so close to the hill climb and the finish it is my understanding that a Cat 5 rider aggressively moved into the pack and in front of the Cat 4 group. The Cat 4 racer went down, taking a group of racers with him. I was one of those riders that went down. I felt it was by God’s grace that I was not injured nearly as bad as some of the other riders. After getting off the ground and checking out the bike, Michael had returned. I had to use the front wheel from his bike to finish the race. Due to the amount of guys from my category involved in the crash I finish the race in 5th place. I returned to the area of the crash to find that Lynn was heading for the hospital for a broken collarbone and a good amount of road rash. My thoughts and prayers quickly went out for Lynn and the guys that were unable to finish the race. It was a bittersweet finish for me; I hate to see guys injured but I was proud of Michael making the podium.
Just a scratch
Williams/Perkinsville Road Race
A 45-mile course with 3,400 ft of climbing - avg 2.8% - out and back. For starters, a special thanks to the mechanics at Single Track Bike Shop for the quick repairs done to my bike. With a sore left hip and a bandaged left elbow, Michael and I headed out with a slightly smaller category of guys. Soon after heading out of town the group narrowed to 6-7 racers. Our plans were to hang in on the descent. I would cover any attacks and Michael would focus on the win during the climb. The descent was long and fast. More then a couple of time it crossed my mind, we have been going downhill for a long time at a fast pace. Sooner or later we are going to turn around and the climb back is going to be much slower and longer. The climb up felt like a race up Mt. Lemmon. Michael passed me at the turn around and I knew we were in good shape. The leaders were just out ahead of us. For me the next 22 miles were uneventful. I crossed the finish line to find out Michael caught and passed the leader to take 1st place. I finished in 3rd place and the IC3 was on the podium again. Praise the lord!
Michael ends up 2nd overall and Gary grabs 3rd!