This has to be one of my favorite race courses in the country. It has it all. Knarley decents and killer climbs. The race went pretty well for me. I stayed with the leaders (Eatough, Schalk, Koerber, and Beck) after the first climb and downhill. Then about halfway up the 2nd climb, Chris Beck slowly pulled away from me. He was about 20 seconds up on me at the top and I thought for sure I could bridge on the decent. That was when the first flat happened. Dang! 5 or 6 guys passed. I chased on the decent and caught fellow Michigander Greg Kuhn. We road together all the way to the next big climb. We slowly brought back 3 guys on the climb which put us 6th and 7th. I pushed pretty hard on the climb and Greg lost contact, but came flying back at the bottom of the decent. We continued together on the pavement and up to the next climb. I pushed hard and kept it in the middle ring the whole way up and Greg again lost contact. After a quick decent...sure enough, Greg bridged back up. We continued to work together all the way to the "sole crusher." I distanced myself from Greg by the time I got to the top. At that point I was pretty sure it was going to be 6th place for me as 5th was over 10 minutes up. I continued to push all the way up and over the last climb. Then... dun dun dun. I got another flat. This time it was the front. I had an extra tube, but not enough air to fill the tire. That's when Greg came rolling up and saved the day. He gave me a C02 and I was back in business. We rode to the finish together and crossed the line 6th and 7th.
I was happy with 6th. I matched my time from last year with 2 flats, so that's a good sign things are going well. I also managed to finish without going into the bonk zone. I finally think I have my nutrition plan figured out for these 100 milers. I was really proud of Greg Kuhn (my training partner) for having such a good race and a big THANKS goes out to him for hooking me up with the C02 at the end. Next up is the Chequamegon. I've got two weeks to prepare. I should be fine if I can survive the insane rollout and avoid mechanicals.