2013 Bobcat ClassicApr 28 2013 · 0 comments · Race Updates ·4
Sunday morning, April 14th, wake up at 5:30am to get ready for the 2013 Bobcat Classic out at the Lewis and Clark Caverns. Look outside, and there is a fresh layer of snow on the ground with more falling from the dark sky. This was a huge motivation killer! Several texts were sent around to teammates to see if anyone was still going – was it canceled, are the roads dry out at the caverns?… Then, an email from El Jefe – the race was on. Jeff Wyatt, Ryan Hamilton, John Barton, Justin Raynes, Jared Nelson, Anna Dingman, Ivy Peterson and Myself were all in….
Standing in the parking lot of the caverns, getting the bike ready, it was cold and very windy – the snow storm was surrounding our race loop. Since this was a collegiate race, the rest of us were grouped into an “Open” category. Two very strong riders, Scott Herzig and Frank Gonzales, drove down from Helena and would provide some serious competition for our Team Rockford.
We rolled out of the parking lot at a steady pace, and turned onto the highway. Ryan took the corner faster then the rest of us, and kind of just…rolled off the front! About mid-way through the first big climb, Ryan had an un-intentional gap, but this made the Montana Velo guys work hard to catch him and the pace quickened. By the time we hit the top, we had a selection of Ryan Hamilton, Jeff Wyatt, Tyler Call and the two guys from Helena. Team Rockford had the numbers, and it seemed the fitness to do well with this break.
Not much else happened on that first lap – a few little sprints that came back together, but we mostly all worked together in a nice steady paceline. Now comes the second lap…we hit the big climb again, and once again, Ryan Hamilton has a bit of a break but this time Frank is on his tail. Jeff and I sat back and let Scott try to reel them back in without much success. When we hit the rollers, Jeff attacked and ended up about halfway to Ryan and Frank. I sat on Scott’s wheel and as we came back together with Jeff, I attacked to try and bridge up to Ryan. After a few attempts at this, we all ended up back together again. About 10 miles to Cardwell, Jeff and Ryan attacked together taking Frank with them. I hung back and stuck to Scott’s wheel again – we had numbers up the road, and there was still a huge final climb coming up.
I could tell Scott Herzig of Montana Velo was getting tired of chasing. And up the road I saw Jeff fall off of Ryan and Frank. I was confident Ryan could outclimb Frank…but could I shell Scott?
We rolled hard to the base of the climb – Jeff had burned too many matches getting Ryan up the road so he pulled off. Scott and I started the climb, with Ryan and Frank just disappearing out of sight around the first bend in the climb. Scott led the first few 100 meters of the climb, I pulled around him at a steady pace and he slowly fell off…when I realized he was gone it motivated me to go harder. To my surprise I caught and passed Frank as well. Ryan took the win and we were able to go 1-2 for Team Rockford. Fun race!