Nov 29, 2010

Gravel Grovel recap

If you haven't ridden the Gravel Grovel then you should, that is all. It's a real fun event that can be taken as a race or a ride....I favored the former whilst sitting on the start line but after tackling the first gravel hill and getting spat out the back of the group I started to reassess my options. Around 60 riders hit the tricky Combs road section together but on the single track bike handling abilities sorted the wheat from the chaff. I was initially feeling good but as Combs road went on I kept drifting back as the 40+ riders barged their way past. On the first hill I was pleased that I rode most of it but on the downhill I had the brakes in a death grip and was passed by many many MTBers! It was more of the same until I emerged from Combs down in the lower half of the field. At that point my back was killing me and the legs felt heavy and was wondering whether I'd be able to finish! However after hooking up with JP (Krol) we established a steady tempo that in the early going meant we were past by more than we passed. However by the Tower-Ridge road turnaround the legs were feeling Ok and we rolled it pretty good for the remaining 40miles, picking off dudes who didn't take the time to feed where opportunities presented themselves. It was fun to ride it with a chum as an end of season challenge but it may be a while before I'm ready to race!
JP enjoying, GP in panic Up at the front of the race there was a solid group of guys who would not be out of place at the front of an NRC crit. Inaugural winner Jake Rytlewski rocked up on an MTB this year ('my cross bike is broken') but it didn't stop the Kenda Pro putting the hammer down in his usual style on the first hill.
At the Tower Road turnaround there was a group of approx 10 riders in the mix and it would seem from the pictures that the majority of the group stayed together until the return on Combs Road where Jake once again was putting on the pressure ahead of Dan Campbell (Panther), Chad B (Kenda), John Grant and Kevin Atkinson (Texas Roadhouse), 40+ winner Keith Lucas (Schellers) and Brian Gavette (ZIPP). Results and report are here and it seems the pressure from Jake told as he rode away for the victory ahead of Atkinson and Campbell.
The final attack? Ahead of Campbell, Atkinson, Lucas, Grant, Birdman, Gavette There was a family double in the single speed and Womens race where Jacob and Amanda Virosko prevailed.
Ride of the day must have come from Chris West who muscled his way around on his little 5 bike. Not sure how he did that, especially in much a good time- chapeau sir!
Photos by Debbie Baker

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good thing Chris West was on my fantasy team!