Saturday, September 27, 2008

American Mountain Classic Wrap Up - We raced, we saw, we conquered

Don't know if anyone realized it but next week October begins. What the.....?????? How did that happen? This year and especially the last couple of months has gone by fast and I know before I realize it we will be celebrating the new year and welcoming in a new president. Damn.

Anyway, I owe you a few stories and I'm starting with a wrap-up of the American Mountain Classic - a four day stage MTB race in Brian Head, Utah with 140 miles of racing. Sho-Air International, Team Big Bear and Blue Wolf put on America’s richest XC/Endurance Mountain Bike Stage race. First of all, I just want to say that was a really well organized event and a super beautiful place. Staged at over 10,000 feet, in a small ski town far enough away to still be quaint and quiet.

Our Mona Vie Cannondale team was there and I registered in the Elite Master's category. I arrived less than 2 days before the race started and as a sea level resident, and admittedly, at 47, and with a decent purse for the class, I decided I would put my ego aside and try it out. I just wish there were more races with this category and good competition (like AMC) where I would feel like it was fair for me to race. The first stage was a prologue and I crashed and broke my handlebar. I was hammering, my pedal caught a rock, and I went sailing. That sucked, but it turned out OK since the prologue didn't count for the overall, so I nursed my wounds and got my brain together to make up for it as the race continued.

The next three days was tough but was a treat of sweet single and double track and incredible views everywhere they sent us. We had awesome sag stops (if you stopped to enjoy them) and I can't say enough about how well organized the event was. The prize money was excellent and brought in a tough field of competition. I think this was the best racing I've done at altitude in a long time and this race and the place became one of my favorites of all time. Kudos to the promoters for making this happen for us!!! Thank you! I managed to stay on my bike most of the time and finish first place for the next three stages and first overall in the Elite Master's category. Things went as good as I could ever ask for and this was one of the best races since winning the World Solo Championship last year.

Another thing that made this one so special was that both my sons and my wife was there. David, my 24 year old son, and I went fishing after the third stage, and figured we would be back by the awards ceremony. Well we found a good spot and the trout were nuts about our bait and we kept on pulling them in! It was awesome!!! We realized that we were late but the fish were still biting and we were out of cell phone range. So, it was a good thing that Terri and Joshua went to the ceremony and Joshua accepted the award for me!! Joshua kept on pointing out all the glitter and Terri said I smelled like dead fish, but it was all worth it! We had a nice trout dinner when we got back to CA.

Thanks to my teammates, especially Matt Ohran, and the race promoters and volunteers, the spectators, and the excellent competition for an awesome event!!

God Bless,


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