Uhl in Eagle, ID – Heather and I did the 1,000 Warriors race this past weekend and it was tougher than I thought it would be. I actually have proof that it was the hardest race I’ve ever recorded at a whopping 382 TSS! By the time I met up with Heather and we rode down to our pick-up location in Sandy, the total was 421 TSS.
I may have gone over those numbers last year in the 170-mile Tour de Park City or a few years ago at the 203-mile Lotoja race, but since my PowerTap wheel is heavy and un-aerodynamic, I wouldn’t use it for “A” priority races. But this summer I got a deal on a Cannondale SuperSix and a wired Cannondale Hollowgram SI SRM and built up a new race bike, so I no longer have to decide between light wheels or having a power meter! I also broke my high-speed record on the north side of Suncrest with a speed of 63.5 MPH! That road is just made for going fast as I set my previous record of 62.3 MPH on it years ago when we lived in Utah.
I thought doing a double Bogus-to-Pioneer would be enough to prepare me for this race, but ending a 96-mile race up a 7-mile climb that averages 8% grade and gets near 10% in sections while it’s 100° out, was painful! Rather than give a detailed blow-by-blow, I’ll just say that I made it to the Sundance climb with the group and climbed it well, but then faded quickly on the last two climbs: Suncrest and Snowbird.
Snowbird was brutal and I was barely turning over the pedals at 60rpm in my 39x27. I was so wasted that I actually passed the finish which was at Entry Level 1 and continued on all the way to Entry Level 5 before I realized that I must have missed it. It didn’t help that: 1) there were no directional signs like all the other intersections, 2) people were setting up barriers on Entry Level 1, 3) all other years the Snowbird hill climb ended at Entry Level 2, and last but not least, 4) the guy in front of me kept going as well! I ended up placing 16th out of 25 starters while Heather managed to win her race. I figured if I actually turned where I should, I may have moved up one place, but there’s really no difference between 15th and 16th place.
So despite being a little ticked about the finish fiasco, when I learned about the horrific crash in American Fork Canyon it put it in perspective. At least I was able to finish the race and didn’t crash, especially on a day with so much traffic on the Alpine Loop. I used to live in Utah County and rode it weekly and I've never seen that much traffic before. It’s too bad they couldn’t close the road for our race. The riders involved in the crash were very lucky that there were emergency medics in the group behind. Though one of the riders had massive injuries, those medics saved his life and the latest update is that he and all the other riders involved, should make a full recovery.
On Sunday we both raced the Salt Lake City downtown criterium, another amateur race before the Pros show up for the Tour of Utah. Heather won a couple awesome primes and then with a gap after the last one, tried to hold it for two laps to the finish, but was caught with 50 meters to go. I was just “pack-fill” in my race; my legs had nothing to give. Even though we had 70 riders in my field, it wasn’t super-fast, I just couldn’t do anything! I did manage to avoid a couple crashes…always an achievement in a criterium!