Road trial series starts wet and windy
FRISCO – Goose bumps and Spandex were the height of fashion Thursday at the chilly 2003 premiere of the Great Adventure Sports Time Trial Series on the Dillon Dam Road.
Fair-weather cyclists were nowhere to be found in the rain and high wind, but the first of the six-event series still yielded close to 60 racers.
“It’s a totally social event,” said Mike McCormack of Maverick Sports, which organizes the series. “It’s a chance to do something different. A lot of people came who wanted to try it out and braved the weather. Jeff (Westcott, fellow series organizer), and I were vacillating on whether we should call it off or keep it on. We decided to keep it on, and I was surprised by how many people showed up.”
Each racer started solo in about 20-second intervals on the 6.8-mile course that occupied the eastbound lane of the Dam Road, which was closed for the event. The course turned up La Bonte Street in Dillon and turned back around on the bike path, where high, cross winds made more than one racer wonder if he-she was going to get blown into the Dillon Reservoir on the incoming portion of the course.
Valdoro Mountain Lodge team rider Steve Lunney crossed the finish line with the fastest time – 15 minutes, 11.11 seconds – and was followed by teammate Michael Schilling in 15:21.19 and Red Rocks Velo team rider Evan Wasserman in 15:34.67. All three have been competing in various Front Range criterium series throughout the spring.
“It’s a totally different event than criterium racing,” Schilling said. “The local competition up here is just as strong as it is down there. You get a lot less flashy bike riders and maybe not the most expensive bikes, but the pure athletic ability of the local people up here is just amazing.
“Down there, you get people in flashy clothes on flashy bikes, but they might not be that fast. Up here, you get people in blue jeans on piece-of-shit bikes with great natural abilities.”
Although the race was short Thursday, even the top riders said it was in no way a walk in the park.
“It’s not at all,” Wasserman said. “It can be super hard. It’s as hard as you make it. It’s a personal thing. You can’t hide in a time trial because it’s just you.
“It was hard in the wind, especially a cross wind like we had. I just try to settle into a good rhythm and ride as fast as I can and as smooth as I can. These (time trials) are a good little effort. But they don’t wipe you out to race on the weekends.”
Backcountry Brewery rider Karin Carestia was the first woman to finish Thursday with a time of 18:36.72. Valdora-Cody Racing Team rider Jody Thompson was second in 18:40.86.
The time trial yielded a broad range of riders, from Ivan Rocha, who won the boys 12-and-under category in 22:02.31, to Julie Oberriter, the only young girl to compete, to Jeffrey Bergeron (i.e. Biff America), the only rider in the 50-plus category, who finished in 18:59.30.
“I’ve been hiking and skiing – we did the backside of (Mount) Baldy yesterday – so, it’s not that I’m not fit,” Bergeron said. “I wasn’t hurting out there, I just don’t have the spank. I’m trying to get a lot of older people to do the race so I can beat them. But, you know what, it was raining, and I think a lot of the geriatrics stay home when it’s wet.”
Cyclists will get five more opportunities to redeem themselves, beginning next week, with time trial No. 2, same time (6 p.m.), same place (Dillon Dam Road).
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