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Hell of the North

Team Bikeman - Race Reports

Because of the dirt section, I wasn’t sure which bike I was going to ride until the night before the race-the old road bike or the Campeon. I chose the Salsa Campeon because it’s too sweet to leave at home. I placed some protective tape in a few strategic locations to save the paint and was good to go. This spring has been a stormy one in northern Utah and Saturday was no exception. At the CAT5/ Citizen start it was about 53 degrees and cloudy with a sustained wind at about 17 mph out of the south. It got worse as the day wore on to include 25mph winds, 38 degree temps and rain/snow for the Pro/CAT1/2 race. I was the solo Bikeman at this race but got some help from our old friend and former Bikeman, Warren Worsley. Early in the race there was an acceleration around the turn out of the headwind and into a crosswind onto the smooooooth pavement that left a bunch of us working hard to regain contact. As we started lap two the group was all together again. We turned back into the wind it was my turn at the front. As I completed my turn and pulled off the front to find a spot back in the group there was another acceleration-only faster this time. The pack was split and while I was slow to react to the move, I was able to bridge to the front alone against the headwind. This lasted only a few minutes because we were approaching the turn to the smoooooth zone again and this time I was mentally ready, but the tank was running low from chasing back and I couldn’t react. It was no-mans-land for me the rest of the way as I fought the wind to keep the gap down between the front eight and myself while staying ahead of the group coming behind. With some help from another straggler caught out we worked together to the finish. I was able to hold on for 9th place in the CAT5/CIT group. The pace was high for most of the race with the average speed coming in around 23mph and top speeds at 30-33 mph on the downwind dirt section. I made a lot of mistakes and learned a few lessons, but I look forward to the next race. Check out the results at http://www.cycleutah.com/.

Thanks for reading.

Dave Leikam

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