Monday, April 18, 2016

Stage 4 &5

 Friday, Stage 4 came.  It is a big stage but one of my favorite routes.   Sundra, who got on the podium yesterday, and I decided that Cam should get a chance up on the box, so we assumed a steady pace and Cam took off.  I was able to slowly reel him in all day but he got up the road and I didn't see him again until after the finish.  Congrats man, nice ride! 

Stage 5 is always bitter sweet.  I wanted to party pace, but I also wanted to get it over with.  I was so excited that I had trouble sleeping.  Everytime I woke up, I got a rush of adrenaline and the voice in my head kept saying "Go for it". 

After surviving the logistical pain in the butt shuttle to the start and standing in the gap freezing, we finally started, and I took off up the first climb, a long steep gravel road up to Farlow.  I was having fun and focusing. If I had been paying attention, I would have noticed that I passed my rabbit,  2nd place single speeder: Mike Montalbano.  But I didn't,  so I kept plodding along, thinking I was in no man's land again, between 2nd and 4th.   At the 2nd creek crossing on Farlow, I turned around and saw Mike.  Whoa. 

I put the hammer down and dropped him like..... something. 

I had the fastest rest stop ever,  rolled up, the girl had my bag ready, I asked for "one bottle please", and I was out of there faster than you read about it.

Spinning my way down Davidson River Trail I kept looking back but saw noone.   Through the gate and onto the long slow climb of death up to Bracken.  I kept the pedal to the metal. 

On the last little grunt, I turned and saw Mike charging up the hill.  He caught me in the exact same place that I caught Michael Cosgrove 2 yrs ago. 
Mike:" Man, I've been chasing you for a long time"
Me:" I know, I've been running from you for a long time!"
 He ripped down Bracken and I didn't see him until the pavement before the finish.  We rode through the finish together, and I climbed on the 2nd step for the day.  Thanks Mike.
 I stayed in the 3rd overall position and won the coolest hand made trophy I have ever seen.

Pisgah Stage Race #8 for me.  Each one has been different and taught me something new. 

Can't wait until next year.

Thanks Todd Branham and The Blue Ridge Adventures Crew for another great week in paradise.

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