Another great showing by the Natural Way Racing Team MTBers at the Rendezvous, Race #6 of the Winter Park Epic Singletrack race series.
Andrew took 1st place by 21 minutes even after taking a wrong turn. Pat and Jamey both grabbed 2nd in their respective classes followed by Sherwood in 18th in his class.
It was a new course this year, through the Rendezvous development between Winter Park and Fraser. First three miles were all uphill, then a mix of incredible single/double-track with more climbing and not-too-technical descents for a total of 12.8 miles of fun.
The Natural Way Racing Team was out in full-force at this year’s Firecracker 50 in Breckenridge, Colorado.
Five riders took on the challenge of 50 grueling miles of twisty single-track, rocky double-track and two turns battling the long Boreas Pass climb. The course was dry, dusty and fast. The weather was overcast, which helped keep the temps down.
Curry took the team title, followed by Joel, Jon and Andy (Brad unfortunately DNFed… still waiting to hear his tale).
Curry, 5:02, 7th in Sport Men 40-44
Joel, 5:24, 18th in Sport Men 40-44
Jon, 5:55, 27th in Sport Men 45-49
Andy, 6:12, 42nd in Sport Men 40-44
HUGE props goes out to The Town of Breckenridge Open Space and Trails Department, who obviously spent countless hours building the new V3 Trail, which not only added 2 miles of sweet, single-track climbing, but also removed the two-way traffic on Sallie Barber road and that long, nasty gravel road stretch that numbs the mind.
Also big shout-out to Maverick Sports Promotions, who manages to find the best volunteers around, provides awesome aid stations and finishes things off with a great post-race meal (ice cold beer included)!
Due to Mother Nature, the Battle The Bear race was rescheduled for June 3rd.
Although some team members had to drop out due to conflicts, two The Natural Way Racing Team riders were there for the 60 mile marathon in the Mens 40-49 category.
Robert Brudenell rocked the fast and furious 60 mile course, coming in at a very respectable 15th with a time of 4:15. Pat White also completed the course in 4:45 for 28th place. Sweet time, especially since Pat had never done a MTB race longer than 30 miles.
Mountain Flyer Magazine’s website put a photo of one of our racers as the lead photo on their story about the Rocky Mountain Endurance Series #3 Race.
The race was The Battle of Bear and our racer did the 60 mile Marathon in 4 hours and 15 minutes for 15th place. Notice the Skeleton Summit Sunglasses! A review to come on those soon. Great race and fun stuff. Thanks for reading.
Riding on Saturday up Deer Creek Canyon, one of our members got stung by a bee or wasp that flew into his open jersey. Pain and grimace lasted the rest of the climb and on the way down. A rare event made even rarer that the date was March 31st! The next day this same team member was riding his mountain bike at Green Mountain. At the top of a long steady climb, the ridgeline opened up to a sprawling meadow on the top with wildflowers beginning to bloom. A strong wind was blowing from the East. As the rider was gasping for air with an open mouth, low and behold, a bee/wasp blew into his open mouth! As he tried to gather the insect to spit it out he was stung on the tongue! What are the odds of getting stung on the tongue on April 1st (no joking matter) let alone getting stung two days in a row!!! What a weekend for this TNWRT rider!
Our regular Thursday night ride to South Side Pizzeria (Chatfield and Wadsworth) was changed for our Denver members to El Camino in the Highlands. We choose this place solely on the fact that they have Lagunitas IPA on tap. Curry and Robert went out for a pre-ride ride up Deer Creek Canyon as a hard training ride then meet up with other members including Kirsten, Scott, and Joel. We rode 23 miles on the South Platte Trail to El Camino where we ordered many Lagunitas IPA pints, then with high powered lights rode the 23 miles back home. Curry did 80 miles that night! Proficiat!
The fine folks from the Boulder County website have posted a Parks and Open Space Interactive Map that highlights major mountain bike trails from Broomfield to Longmont. The page also includes links to more detailed information for each trail. Just in time for serious training!
With warm weather arriving in Littleton, the team has started cranking out base miles and intervals in preparation for an awesome race year. For some inspiration, we asked Zephyr Wrigley to recall one of his favorite race stories.
“I have been heading down to Crested Butte every spring since 2003 to participate in the Wildflower Rush. This is an awesome race in one of the most beautiful areas of Colorado and it’s always a highlight of the racing calendar for me. In the spring of 2010, this was the first mountain bike race for me as a member of the Natural Way Racing Team and I was fired up. I had put in my training miles and set my sights on a strong finish.
I surprised myself by getting the holeshot to start the race and after a bit of jostling through the first turn found myself in second heading up the main climb. I was able to regain the lead early in the climb, but lost my advantage after getting stuck behind traffic form the prior start wave. From there I had a great battle with the eventual winner who gapped at the top of the major climb and closed the door on me when I tried to counter. I chased hard down the final descent, but was never able to make contact. I crossed the line about 45 seconds off the pace, but the two of us had a large gap over the field with the third place finisher nearly 4 minutes back.
Although I lost out on first place, I was extremely pleased with my race. This was a personal best finish for me and one of the best races I’ve ever had, everything just sort of came together. I was extremely happy to step onto the podium and represent our team.
I was able to return for the 2011 race, finishing in 4th place after moving up to Cat2, but the 2010 race was definitely a high point in my racing career.”
The Boulder Roubaix will be running again this April. A race not to miss… road, sand, mud and plenty of pain!
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