Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Almanzo 100 or 102.45

last Saturday was the ever growing Almanzo 100 in Spring Valley, MN. a 100 mile cue card guided, deep and plowed gravel, 30 mph crosswinds with 90+ degree heat nightmare of a road race. I have never seen gravel roads so well maintained. Great for cars but not so much on a bicycle. After a mass start on pavement we took a right on to gravel not to see pavement for 98 more miles. We kept the pace high to sort the field quickly until a small group was established. Unfortunately, a lot of guys were tailgunning the rear so when an opportunity came to be for me to get away I took it. 20 miles of solo riding looked to be successful until turning into a hard headwind. My hopes that the chase would fall apart in the same conditions were dashed after a wrong turn check by me and the chase close behind. With 40 miles to go it was best to ride it further with them. After a water break and massive suffering I finally ran out of water at mile 85. Two guys hanging on and the rest suffering I decided to take a hard heads down pull into the final headwind with directions for turns coming from the back. What seemed ideal was a disaster after someone failed to instruct a turn. A two mile correction at mile 99 ruined all our work to win the race. A complete bummer. A sore back, dehydration, headache, back spasms, loss of memory, etc. That best described my day after. Yes, a hard event and required a better racing set up then the one I had brought. A little time for recovery before I ever decide to do one of those again. Ranks top three for suffering.


Unknown said...

Sounds like a fun race. I've thought about doing that one, but I've never ridden anywhere near that far on dirt roads. What did you bring as a set up and what would you bring for a set up next time?

Ian Stanford said...

cross frame the next time and shallower profile wheels. Oh, I am developing the ultimate gravel set up along side Steve Hed. You can only imagine his imagination!