Sunday, April 1, 2007

Blue Sky Velo at Koppenberg - Isaac's SM4 Race Report

Today was the annual Koppenberg Circuit Race in Superior, CO -- 5 miles of fast dirt roads, wind, and a very brutal climb. Blue Sky was out in full force with Lee, Mike, Bryan, Bill, Isaac, and Jose in SM4, Brian and Dave in SM4/35+, Jeremy in SM3, and Jenna and Katie in SW1/2/3. Also out to cheer everyone on was Jason and Angie. Dan cheered, but his real motive was to serve as Bill's personal soigneur.

After hearing about how the tactics typically play out -- a selection of guys ride away after the first trip up the climb -- the SM4 Blue Skyers were vigilant about getting a good position on the start line and the first trip out the dirt. On the foot of the climb I surged to the front and had a very photogenic first trip up the climb, as you can see.

I stayed with the 20+ group of racers that proceeded to ride away after the climb, but toward the end of the first lap I welcomed the company of fearless SM4 captain Mike Olivero who had bridged up to us. The second trip onto the dirt was far nastier than the first lap, and coming over the climb I was d-o-n-e. The red button on this turkey had popped. Mike was riding strong but decided to wait.

Mike and I found ourselves in a chase group of about 10 chasing the lead selection of 10. The gap stayed at about 20-30 seconds for the next lap or so but we couldn't bridge it. Mike, a HART rider, and a Vitamin Cottager did the majority of the work. On the final trip up the climb I was able to get a gap but it didn't stick, and I tried again on the pavement but with the same result. Leading into the final corner Mike made a strong move before the corner and sprinted his way to 13th and I held on for 14th.

On to the awards section. Mike clearly had the ride of the day ... bridging up to the selection and riding strong on that nasty 2nd lap and still having enough gas to finish strong in our chase group. The other award that needs to be given out is to Bill Teasdale ... if you look at this picture you will see that he is clearly the happiest climber of the bunch. More pictures here.

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