And I Thought the Breck 100 Was Hard.
(August 4, 2012) Alta, Wyoming - After the Breckenridge 100 everyone told me the hardest 100 mile race I could do was behind me. Well, they were wrong! Good thing I didn’t race last weekend as the extra recovery time was a prerequisite for this weekend’s racing.
The Grand Targhee Ski Resort situated just outside Alta, Wyoming, played host to the Pierre’s Hole 100 mile race on Saturday. The course consisted of 4x25mile loops, each containing about 1150m of climbing in the Teton Mountains, making for a grand total of 4470 ascending metres during the entire race according to my Polar bike computer.
It seemed to be a race of 4’s – the 4th edition of the race, 4 laps, 4400m of climbing...you can see where this is going...
In stark contrast to his race in Oregon where he started slow and came on strong towards the end, Evan Plews (Ibis Cycles) was a man on a mission this time. Carey Smith (Team CF) led on the downhill away from the start, but as we hit the foot of the first long climb Evan went to the front and set the pace. By the top of the climb there were only three of us left on his wheel and by the conclusion of the 1st 25 mile lap, Evan and I were alone at the front.
I stayed with Evan across Lightning Ridge and down the insanely long Mill Creek descent. Here I had to stop for a natural break, but it was quick enough to keep Evan in sight up the long tar climb that followed. We descended the water bar littered Dry Creek to reach the Heslin Ranch road where it was Evan's turn to stop and heed the call of nature. Seems it was becoming a real pi$$ing contest. J
Evan and I rode together for our 2nd ascent of the day’s longest and steepest climb, Bustle Creek, which led us back to the ski resort. Here I had to stop for fresh bottles and it turned out to be the last time I would be in contact with Evan. He continued at his rapid pace for the final 2 laps taking his first NUE Series race victory after 8h44min56sec in the saddle.
I gave it everything I had in pursuit, but Evan was too strong and I had to settle for 2nd in 8h54min10sec. Carey Smith (Team CF) rounded out the podium with a strong 3rd place ahead of a determined Drew Edsall (Kenda-Felt) and Jamie Lamb (Cyclesmith).
1. Evan Plews (Ibis Cycles/ Reall Racing)
2. Melt Swanepoel
3. Cary Smith (Team CF)
4. Drew Edsall (Kenda-Felt)
5. Jamie Lamb (Cyclesmith)
I thought my race was pretty tough until I met up with past winner of the Freedom Challenge, Tim James. He has just completed the Colorado Trail Race which is a self supported event across the well-known Colorado Hiking Trail (480miles!). Despite severe illness and not being able to hold down food for 3 days Tim managed to finish the race in 18th place after 6 days of riding! HTFU I guess...
Until next time, happy trails!