With the Tour of Vail this weekend I decided to stick around here, sleep in my own bed, and get in some good quality racing in the high country. The Tour of Vail is part of The Great American Cycling Series, p/b Stan’t NoTubes. It consisted of a short 5.5 miles Time Trial on Friday, a Grand Fondo on Saturday from Copper back to Copper via the Leadville Loop, and a day of crit racing on Sunday, which was the USA Crits finals for the season.
Initially I hadn’t planned on racing the TT on Friday, but I had a last minute cancelation at Dogma, so I decided to give it a go. I covered the course in 13:25 which was twenty-six seconds behind Taylor Sheldon, who took the win. The good thing was that I was good and opened up for the CX race in Golden the next day.
A couple of weeks ago I got a Facebook message from Michael Welker inviting me to come down and race the Primalpalooza, a cyclocross race put on by the Primal Racing team in Golden. He promised a solid field a fun course and good money payout. I was psyched to see that I was going to be in town and could make it down because he delivered, on all fronts. With the local Boulder talent coming out in force, (ie, Danny Summerhill, & Alan Krughoff) I knew it was going to be a good day of racing to tack on to yesterday’s TimeTrial. With Danny 30 seconds off the front I was locked in a battle with Alan and Brandon Dwight. We traded off pulls and tried to string it out, but windy conditions and course design made it pretty difficult to get away. It came down to a sprint for 2nd between Alan and myself. He got me with the bike throw. A quick reminder how fun the cyclocross racing is here in Colorado.
Sunday was the big day on the weekend for me, hosting the USA Crits finals in my own back yard, not to mention the opportunity to race through the cobbled streets of Vail Village. The NoTubes/AXA team were bringing in a couple of riders to join me. Needless to say I was excited to race in front of the hometown crowd with Ryan, Brian and Jacob.
I was able to ride comfortably near the front and be aggressive. After a few attempts I got in a small break with Colby Pierce, one of the GingerTwins from Exergy, Robin Eckman, and a couple of other strong riders. I thought this break really had a chance of staying away but with teams like Mtn Khakis and Optimum controlling the pace we got brought back after a few laps. They were really wanting it to come down to a field sprint. The rest of the race for me was like a MotoPacing session. We were averaging around 30 mph and I was able to sit in and match the accelerations. As we came into the final stretch Luke Keogh from Mtn Khakis came around for the win and clinched the overall title for the series. I was happy to stay safe and near the front. I finished 21st, and since the payout went 20 deep it would have been sweet to be one spot up. Just out of the money.
In all it was a great weekend of racing/training and a great weekend for the sponsors. From the sound of it the promoter of the Tour of Vail was happy with the race and so was the town of Vail. I’m hoping that it comes back next year and the local cycling/racing population continues to grow.