I heard reports Hingham got 4.5" of rain on Saturday. Supposedly Sunday was going to be a beautiful day, but as I headed East, it wasn't looking too promising. It wasn't raining, but it was grey and wet.
That's how I found Wompamuck too after a wrong turn or 3; grey and wet. Those wrong turns, the long line at the porto-lets, and equally long line for preregistered riders cut into my preride time. I only was able to spin around for about 15 minutes before lining up.
Quite a crowd too, one of the biggest fields of the year. All the usual suspects plus some unfamiliar faces. To add to the effect, they started the 50+ group with us too to try and get things moving.
The start was fast. Full out. First on grass, then pavement then narrow fireroads. The fireroads were overgrown so there was one fast line and then grass or leafs and needles. Very hard to make up any ground. Starting with such a large group made it hard to know what position I was in.
Things tilted up and I was able to make a move forward. Picked off a couple of guys, and then started dueling it out with Todd Bearse. Todd's technical prowess would propel him forward, and I would reel him back on the hills. He was leading, but never had more than a 30 meter gap on me.
Then we went down a big drop after passing a couple of back markers. Todd sailed through the mud pit at the bottom, my front wheel stopped. Dead. My right knee found out they had filled that mud hole with gravel I'm guessing to firm it up.
That was it for my battle with Todd. I'd see him turning into the wood from time to time as I pulled out on to a fireroad, but never close again. Steve Arsenault from the 50+ passed me too, but couldn't make it stick.
Passed John Mosher fixing a flat. That didn't slow him down much because within a mile he came flying past me on fire.
Caught Stu Jensen, not too much later, and then Jonny Bold dealing with yet another flat. Other than them I would pass singlespeed riders and 30-39 year olds. Rode with Dave (my oxygen depleted brain feels lucky enough to remember his first name, can't recall his last) from the 50+ group for about the last 6 miles. I was going to make a snarky remarke about the girly lines he was taking when he dropped me on a rocky descent within the last mile. He told me soon after he was coming up on a 30-39 year old who was really throwing coal on the fire when he (the 30-39 y/o) ate it on one of the slimey boardwalks. EMT's had to walk him out.
I had no idea where I placed. Not the slightest clue.
The course was a lot of fun. It was hyped as this merciless technical terror laced together with pavement. But I found it no more challenging than my local trails. Fortunately there wasn't much pavement, and oddly enough, it seemed I could keep up okay on these sections. I don't think I could have pushed a bigger gear, and judging by my speed compared to other races and gear choice I think a 52" was good. Ignitors were the perfect tire. I do feel like I went a couple rounds with Tyson though.
When they finally did get all the Cat1 results posted, I came in 4th. That tightens the gap on Jonny Bold's point lead, but he has the series all but sewn up.
Todd got third. That makes us even; he's beat me twice and vice versa.
Congratulations to Kevin Hines, the latest GT Golden Bike winner. 49 years old and kicking serious ass!
What will MT Snow hold in store for us?