It felt good to get back on the podium at the Iceman again. I didn't make it last year and with all the flowers, champaign, photos, and interviews it's definitely the coolest podium to stand on in the midwest so the effort to take 3rd was definitely worth it.
Ahhhhh, the effort. Can't say it didn't hurt cause it did. I felt a lot better this year than last though which made the race seem a lot easier, but I don't think it was, considering we finished 10 minutes faster than last years.
About 1/2 through the race I remember looking back and there was nobody there! The field was gone, just the 5 of us riding down the trail. We all did a little work to stay away but I new with Doug, Adam, Travis and Myself in a lead group taking pulls that there was no chance anyone would come back onto us.
Eventually it came down to about 5 miles to go. Somehow in some singletrack Travis hooks his bar on a tree and blocks the trail as he gets wrapped around it. I watched in frustration as the race went up the road. Travis was up fast but the damage was done and we were off the back, gone, out of sight from the leaders. I was bummed. The course is super fast the last couple of miles has the toughest climbs of the race and I new there was no way to bridge back on at this point so I just sat on Travis. We hit the base of a climb and the leaders came into view at the top so I attacked Travis and attempted the most painful bridge I have ever attempted to go across.
Adam was pulling when I made the bridge, yes, that's right, somehow with my eyes crosseyed and my legs screaming to stop I came across the gap to the leaders. I needed a longer race at that point just to recover in time for the last climb but it's not Ore 2 Shore and 28 miles had already ticked by. Already we were at the base of the "woodchip" climb and Adam and Doug were going for it full steam ahead. I new I couldn't hang because my legs were starting to twinge with cramps and I was completely wound out so I sat on Jesse and waited for the last little kicker before attacking full speed ahead into the singletrack. I had the gap immediately and was able to roll in for 3rd just a half minute back from Adam. Pretty PRO race for Michigan
Can anyone tell me who is NOT pro in the picture above???
Seriously, there is a poser in there!