My buddy Justin was the first to cross the line yesterday at the 2009 RAMROD. Here are a few comments from the “winner”:
“A guy at the aid station at mile 78 mentioned that I was the first through, and I managed to stay there through the finish. It was a scorcher...over 100 at the finish. Towards the end, I walked into a creek with my shoes on to cool a hotspot. My shoes were dry 10 minutes later. It took a long solo effort, but I had a solid ride, and managed 8:25 (8:37 total time) for the 160 mile distance. There were some fast dudes on fancy TT bikes trying to reel me in on 410, but the lead I had off Crystal Mt was enough.”
About his race strategy:
“It certainly wasn't a race. If it had been a race, I would have gone faster and would have been much more willing to suffer. I pushed an early aggressive pace to try to bang out as many miles as I could before it got hot, expecting the heat would force me to back off, which it did.
That said, being a competitive guy, when I'm told I'm in the ‘lead’ my inclination is to not get caught, so I continued to ride somewhat hard. No one likes getting passed, whether you're racing or training...although sometimes I am MORE tolerant of it in races because I am more focused on my own pace/rhythm.”
About the event itself:
“RAMROD used a start window...start anytime from 5-7am, although I passed a couple of riders who said they started at 3:30. The organizers didn't do anything to encourage racing. Quite the opposite, in fact, as several water stops had not yet been set up when I got there. I think some guys will approach an event like RAMROD as a world championship, others will approach it as relaxed tour around the mountain, and everything in between.”
That sounds a lot like the High Pass Challenge!
Congrats to Justin for “winning” his first RAMROD.