Tuesday, April 24, 2007

2007 Cohutta 100 Race Report

When I got back in town on Sunday, I was greeted at the airport by my beautiful family and a wall of heat. It's already getting hot in Florida so it was nice to be up in the Smokey Mountains for the Cohutta 100 mile MTB race, the kickoff race for the NUE National Ultra-Endurance Series.

The race started and ended at the Ocoee Whitewater Center, the site of the 1996 Olympic Kayaking event. Roswell Bicycles was my second stop when I arrived at Atlanta and I met Cannondale rep John Guyton at the baggage area. Then from there, we had lunch before visiting Roswell Bicycles. It's always nice meeting cycling fans and the shop they had there looked great. If you're ever in the Atlanta, GA area, please visit Roswell Bicycles. They have everything you need. I did a handful of autographs and met Nick Tsokalas. He does custom painting and said he'd like to paint my helmet. Of course I said 'YES!' I'm sending my helmet this week.

So after the visit, I got in the rental car and headed out of Atlanta. I finally got out of the Atlanta traffic and headed toward the Eastern Tennessee Mountains.

The event had just over 200 racers. The weather was ideal and the course was perfect. I was riding well and followed Chris Eatough. He likes to set a good pace so as long as I could see him, I felt fine. Nearing the half-way I saw a small group of riders closing in. This was the only time I took the lead since Chris needed a "pit-stop" - sort of I mean, not to a complete stop...

It was a smart move on my side because at check-point 4 I stopped and got my extra bottle. Before I left, I adjusted my saddle when Chris and Brandon were the only two guys left. They grabbed their food and water but took off and went hard. They left me hanging still adjustin my seat. I took off soon afer their attack and I found myslef having a hard time catching either of them. So the best thing was just focus on Brandon first, because Chris already dropped him. Once I caught Brandon, I rode on his wheels to the next check point.

After that, I found I had good legs again and I took off before Brandon (Bear Naked/Cannondale) was still filling his Hydra-pak. I played the same game as they did to me at the last check point. I looked over my shoulder a few times and there was no sign of any rider. Chris was out of the picture but I was still riding for a great finish in my chase for the overall. There are 6 races left and I can't be disappointed.

Here is how the solo mens class shook out:

Place Name Team Age Time
1 Chris Eatough Trek/VW 32 06:45:42
2 Tinker Juarez Cannondale 46 07:00:10
3 Brandon Draugelis Bear naked/Cannondale 22 07:08:17
4 Shey Lindner Bear naked/Cannondale 34 07:08:30
5 Shawn Adams Lake Effect 32 07:09:24

I was happy that my Scalpel rode great. The Kenda tires hooked up on those Smokey Mountain dirt roads. I did not have any mechanicals.

One of the best parts of the trip is that my son David, who is now 22 years old was there and got to see me on the podium in 2nd place. It was a great way to end the weekend.

Thank you to all my sponsors!

God Bless till next time...


Mark D. said...

Awesome job Tinker.

d-bo said...

sweet work Tinker...i can`t wait to get back in the dirt, but i`ve been having to much fun crit racing on my new CannonDale Cad 9 . i finaly got to unleash a good sprint on her, got 1st in a local 30 plus race, wich helped me finaly get my cat 3 upgrade...