Some silliness prior to start with Ergon sponsored rider, Yuki Huaswald.
OK, time for the race report!
This is my second go at the Whiskey 50 Off-Road. This 50 mile lollipop loop is a delightful little treat that offers 7,200 ft of climbing in some of the most awesome chunks of trails that north central AZ has to offer.. The Open Men's field was stacked this year...some of the fastest names in the history of the event. The likes of Tinker, Andy Schultz, etc, etc, etc.
The 7:30 AM start was anything but a neutral roll-out of town. Right from the gun, we were single file heading up and out of town. Have to admit, wasn't ready for that and the legs loaded up fast. I managed to stay in the front of the group until the road pitched. Here I dropped back as to not blow up. The group was still in reach and sight....but I would never catch back on. The first 30 minutes of singletrack were painful for me. My legs were heavy and loaded. It wasn't until about 40 minutes into the race did I start to open up.
Glad the legs came around when they did, because the next 10-15 minutes would be spent climbing a double track fire road. At the top of this road began the descent to Skull Valley. As I dropped down to Skull Valley, I took the time to take in lots of water, ELETE, and PowerGels. Near the bottom of Skull Valley, I got to see a group of riders coming back up. This was the 3 leaders. A few minutes later....another group of riders.....then another group containing Yuki Saito. I got to the bottom checked in and headed back up. My legs felt great as I was able to spin the SRAM XX 42T ring up about 80% of the climb. I manage to real in about 8 riders in the process...but the trade off is I was also caught by 2 other riders that were behind me until this point.
Half way up the climb I did a brief stop at the aid station to fill a bottle with water. Once full, I twisted on the lid and pedal on up the climb. At this point I was still feeling good, but I was slowing. I managed to hold off any remaining riders as I pedaled out the remaining singletrack back down into the town square of Prescott.
I would finish 19th overall in the Open Men's race out of like 211 riders. My time was 3 hours and 38 minutes....roughly 5 minutes faster than last year. I'll take it, even though the overall result is not what I was hoping for.
Andy Schultz of Kenda-Felt would go onto win (set a new course record) after Tinker would get lost while riding solo off the front.
More pictures coming!