LaRoche promised us a loop entirely in the shade, and he delivered. The group rolled up on the east side of the Amphitheater butte and there’s Bob with a full on aid station. Folding table, a variety of snacks, beverages, paper cups, firecrackers. He also had plans to shake up the standings. Three different distances based on your speed/ability. He had a super long loop just for Hunter and Gerrit. They stood no chance. I’d argue that Geordie should have been included, but, he was relegated to the middle group which had a shorter course. And then a third and even smaller loop for the more laid back crowd.
We gathered down on the flats in a moto line with our groups marked by tape on our handlebars. Once we all rolled over enough broken glass scattered off trail, Bob popped a firecracker to send us off. It was a rocky shitshow to make it back up to the table where we jumped on the regular trail. Thanks to the rollers and then some washy climbs, a conga line formed and slowed the pace a bit before people started to fan out on the downhill to the fence line. There was a fair amount of cat and mouse going on since there were some long downhills followed by big false flats. I got an uphill pass on Ackley, and followed Randazzo, Yeti, and NE Scott into the baron stop.
This baron stop proved pivotal. Given the divided distances some had gone out too early. And others struggled to handle the sickly sweet refreshments that LaRoche was passing around. Fortunately I was able to wash it back with some water and gain a few spots going into lap three. I fell in behind Haberstock and we traded places a few times during the last two loops. The middle and short courses overlapped each other so it was easy to see some of the short course guys realize they had a chance and start to dig deep. Some of whom may not have been used to such efforts. Good solid work all around.
During a week when past performance played a role in the seeding, a rookie to STP took the win. Well done Geoff, you’re batting 1.ooo on the year. Jared and Gerald made their way into the top three. Well done y’all! Behind them some of the faster regulars were in their usual range. However the long course guys definitely took a beating. The season standings got shaken up a bit for sure. Luis unknowingly picked a good week to take a rest.
Thanks again Bob! And I look forward to the next new idea from the peanut gallery…
Next week: Coyote Grande ↓↓↓