Written by Jesse Stevens Sunday, 23 April 2006 00:00
If you’re ever racing in Clemson and you want some good beta on a course Eric is your man, he knows those trails like the back of his hand. I have no doubt that pre-riding with him contributed to my result mainly because I attacked EXACTLY where he said was a good place to attack.
After the ride and dinner I headed to Hiawassee GA to prepare myself for the Tour De Georgia mountain stage and to soak in the Jacuzzi of course. On a side note if you haven’t been to North Eastern Georgia, you need to find yourself there for the Tour De Georgia next year it’s a fantastic spectacle and a chance to see world class cyclists dominate a painful climb but I digress.
After enjoying the TDG and returning to Clemson I found myself at the registration booth at 7:30am because my traveling companion Cai Clothier had a start time of 9am. Registration aside the Tiger Rag was organized astoundingly well and the course was immaculate. My race started at 10:30am and as we lined up right behind the Sport 20-29 riders one of my competitors politely asked the race official if we could get a prize for passing them all but alas no special prizes today.
The race started at a blistering pace up the first of 2 small climbs on the course and as we entered the single track only one other rider had matched my pace, and he got the hole shot. I don’t know what this guys name was but he gapped me on the first descent before I even noticed we were descending and I didn’t see him for 1.5 laps, however as I topped the biggest climb of the day 2 people remarked that he was merely 25 seconds ahead of me so I resigned myself to suffer like an animal and leave nothing on the course.
Driving the pace as hard as I could it was still half a lap before I was able to completely close the gap and pass my competition right before the feed zone and we stayed together down the next descent. However as we were setting up to enter the single track again I noticed him looking down repeatedly and attacked driving hard to the finish and winning my first ever Single Speed race.
As it turns out he flatted and ended up in fourth place which is really unfortunate as hard as he was riding. I’m really excited to start my season off with a win and I hope to continue with a good showing at the Greenbrier Challenge in Boonsboro, MD on April 30th.
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