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Bite Hard Boonville

07/08/2013, 12:30pm PDT
By Mark Johnson

2nd in M45+ Cat 4's

Place: 2nd of 19 in 45+ 4,  3rd of 33 overall.
Category 45+ 4  (Field combined with 5's)
Race:  Bite Hard Boonville  Road Race
Teammates: Hal Reimer (6th & KOM), Eric Murray
 
I got up really early for the nearly 3 hr drive to Mendocino so that I could see my daughter's play Friday night (gotta have your priorities :-)  Turns out it was worth the effort.  The course is really scenic, and I was feeling good.  
 
This is only the second time this race has been held, and I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but the 67mi + 9000ft climbing had me pretty nervous.  Right after the neutral rollout, there is a left turn, and bam, the first major climb followed by an even longer one.  The combination felt like Monte Bello with a short respite in the middle - not the chatty warm up I was hoping for!  We hit it pretty hard, and I was wondering if I had enough in the tank for the whole 67 miles.  Well kudos to Hal who knew pretty much exactly where the KOM was, as he attacked just before the top and took the prize.  
 
After 1 more fairly serious climb there was a screaming descent to the coast.  Turns out a lot of folks lost a bottle there.  I lost mine later.  By the time we got to the coast there was only 7 riders of 33 left in the pack.  Nobody wanted to pull the 15 miles into the headwind, but nobody wanted to get caught either so we took a kind of middle of the road pace.  
 
When we turned off highway 1, it was back to steep climbing, and I got caught near the back when a break of 3 guys got away.  I chased with Alex Komlik, and we left Hal and another one behind.  After a while, I started feeling better, started taking longer faster pulls, and eventually dropped Alex.  I rode about 10 miles over rolling terrain, and finally caught the break of 3 just before the second screaming descent back to highway 128.  I lost my bottle here which was after the last feed zone and it was really hot by that point.
 
The 4 of us rode the 15 miles on 128, which is fairly flat, at a pretty fast pace.  I was totally dehydrated and dreading the final 600 ft. steep climb to the finish.  At the start of the climb I had nothing left and let my 3 break partners go, and even stopped long enough that I got a bottle refilled on the side of the road.  When I restarted I noticed another of the break riders had also stopped to pee (kinda weird, but if you gotta go, you gotta go I guess).  I rode past him and managed to stay ahead to get 3rd overall.  The winner was a cat 5, so that put me in 2nd in the 45+ 4.
 
Thanks for reading,
 
-- Mark

Tag(s): Race Reports