Sunday, September 13, 2015

Duo Racing 2015 Recap, Part1: Mountain State Dirty Double

With less than normal cycling training miles under our belts, fellow teammate, Derek Clark, and I had decided to team up for some duo racing this summer--two gravel races and one mountain bike relay.    Our agreed upon goal was to try to podium each race.  Although not discussed, I'm certain our unspoken goal was to win each race.   

In May, we signed up for the duo male class at the Mountain State Dirty Double gravel stage race in Rowlesburg, WV.  Because we registered the day of the race, we were uncertain of who are competition would be.  On day one, I felt as if we were struggling to maintain any speed on the asphalt road sections.   But once, the terrain turned to dirt and gravel, Derek and I, riding Cannondale SuperX cyclocross bikes equipped with disc brakes and Kenda Happy Medium tires, appeared to make up on time and pass many other racers.  Despite suffering a flat tire on a chunky-rock downhill fairly early in the race, Derek and I had finished 5 minutes ahead of second place and 9 minutes ahead of third place teams, providing ourselves nice, but not comfortable time gaps going into the second stage of racing.  

At the start of day two the sky decided to open up into a steady rain.   Early on we were past by the mountain bike riding Silverback Racing team of Dan Dapenhart and Chris Miceli on a loose and sandy climb.   Although we had a 9 minute lead on this team, there was a long and twist downhill over seriously rough and loose gravel.  They could create a gap that would threaten our chances of winning stage two and the whole race if we let them get away on this downhill.  Once, we topped the climb, Derek found a big gear to mash his way past the mountain bike duo, skidding his rear tire from side to side throwing rocks and gravel.  I trusted his confidence on this down-hell and just tried to keep up.  We were able to group up with some solo racers once we reached some asphalt sections of road to create a gap on the Silverback Racing team and hold on, free of mechanical issues, to the finish for a stage two and the overall wins.  

Duo Male
121210Chris Jones/Derek Clark  2:20:462:36:124:56:58
229244Dan Depenhart/Chris MiceliSilverback RacingPA2:29:462:42:175:12:03
333245Fritz Kessler/Dan MangesNo one you knowMD2:25:342:54:065:19:40