Two weeks ago, most of my team competed in the High Uintas 10,000, a 77 mile race from Kamas, UT to Evanston, WY. As the name implies, it climbs up to over 10,000 feet from around 6000 at the start. The one climb was from mile marker 20 to 30, and from there it's high speed downhill and then flat into Wyoming. If the race had ended at the top of a climb, I might have been able to win my category (Cat-5, which is for bikers without a lot of races or points under their belts). However, I got away in a group of 3 with another off the front on the climb, and we flew through the flats as we caught up with a group of the Master (older) racers that started ahead of us. I ended up 3rd in Cat-5. I need to work on my final sprint!
On Sunday, some of the coaches and athletes from across the US Ski Team put on a hillclimb up around Sundance ski resort. The race was just under 9 miles long and ascended 2800 vertical feet - all uphill, which is exactly my style on a bike. A huge alpine skier or an older coach can't compete with the Nordic guys up a climb like that, so they made it interesting with a handicap system based on power testing on a stationary bike and a shorter bike time trial in PC, or in my case, they said tough luck and threw me in. Below is the start list. The first athlete to start is still rehabbing from a serious knee injury. The next two are PT interns. Sasha, one of the alpine coaches, hung on for the win. I started with Bill Demong, who's Mars heritage is more debatable than it used to be.
Tad Elliot (Nordic) is still one of the best mountain bikers in the US, despite being fully committed to cross country skiing and no longer racing for the national bike team. Taylor Fletcher (Nordic Combined) and Noah Hoffman (Nordic) aren't here, but they caught up soon and finished 3rd and 4th respectively, behind Sasha and Tad. Bill and I couldn't handle there attacks in the last mile or so, but Bill still put on a strong attack at the top to beat me out for 5th.
It was kind of a good thing that a non-Nordic athlete won; that was how the handicap system was designed. Tad finished within 30 seconds of Sasha, and asides from a few stragglers, everyone was surprisingly close at the finish.
A huge thank you is in order to Sundance Ski Resort! Not only did they let us race up there road, but they also fed us at their fabulous breakfast brunch. After the race, of course.
USSA and ski racing photographers were filming the entire event. I felt like I was racing in the Tour de France with the camera car alongside us! I'll post the link if they put together a video, so stay in-tune.
Where am I?