Thursday, August 26, 2010
Stage 4- The Aqueduct Loop- 41 miles and 7300' of climbing- The race profile of this sucker looked like a sharks teeth with one giant prehistoric shark tooth stuck in the middle!
Well, another day ticked off, and in fact, it's kind of depressing to be writing the 4th report, because that means that the 6th is nigh! We're not sure if we're ready for this "vacation" to end (minus the whole missing fam and friends bit). So here's a look into our typical day...or perhaps a day in the life!
6am wake up, muhly makes coffee (aka rocket fuel), parsons whips up the oatmeal, fruit, eggs, and bagels. After eating, we choke down about twenty pills (pics, antifatigues, endurance aminos, race caps supreme, mitos, super ao) that Born has prescribed us, then we each shower (individually, we're not that close of teammates) and stretch to get the muscles warmed up. apply chamois/leaders jerseys and LIBERAL amounts of seat saver, fill the bottles and stash them in the feed bags and boogie to the venue. 8am we "warm-up" by riding over to the start which starts at 810 prompt. 810 to roughly 12, race (you know, suffer, blow up, feel great, rip trail, make adjustments, chow pills, drink heed, chow more pills, rip more trail, and start to wish the stage was over one or two climbs too soon). After 12, drink coke, drink recoverite, each salty chips, eat fig newtons LOADED with peanut butter, and pedal to the venue again to wash the bikes. Drop bikes of to Chad of Shimano (the best guy we've met yet!) to have them buffed out while we soak legs in the freezing cold river for 10 minutes. Back to man cave, eat more, call the fam, eat more, kick the legs up, stretch, kick legs up, eat again, blog, then rally to the awards at 5. Stand on podium, get another jersey (still having to pinch ourselves, neither of us have spent that much time on the top), hear race description, pick up cherried bikes, drive home, make dinner. Eat dinner, eat second course of dinner, eat some newman o's or lizzies huckleberry scotchie oat bars, and slam down another slough of pills. Get feeds for tomorrow figured out, check cyclingnews again just to see if the bastards have posted results yet, pop rem caps, another ice bath (muhly just loves these.. ha!), a quick "good game" butt slap to one another, and lights out, 9 pm.
That's pretty much it, kind of boring, completely self absorbed, but still a dream to live for a brief week. We've truly enjoyed our experience thus far and are both amazed at how well we've raced together. Both of us have had our shares of tough times and it's been super encouraging to have a bud to keep you going and help pull you out of old man pain's cave.
Oh by the way, we had an incredible first two hours on todays stage, then 4 days of big riding decided to accumulate in muhly's quads on a 2000' climb. Fortunately, he never bonked and still managed to pound the pedals for another 2 hours while we rolled across the line pretty close to top ten if not top ten in the open. Our Swiss buds rolled across the line 20 or so minutes down and apparently had an "epic" day.
Well, it's getting close to awards, so we better wrap up the blog and kick the legs back up and eat some more!
Clint and Ben
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Stage 3: Guyot Loop (French Pass), 44 miles, 9,100 ft of climbing
Circumnavigation of Gyot Loop was the toughest stage yet in the Breck Epic. Our thoughts running through our mind during the 4 hour race can be summarized as: "let's get this mother over with...another false summit and steep climb.....I can't feel my hands...and boy my triceps kill!"
The stage consisted of four major climbs that crossed the Continental Divide two times, topping off at 12,500 ft. Following a little pre-race cluster to fix a leaking tire, we ascended to the trails from town with a police escort. The first 8 miles was basically a brutally steep and loose gravel climb followed by a sweet descent to feed zone 1. Our legs felt great and we were riding in the top 10. Then we left the comfort of a densely wooded forest and entered the alpine zone to French Pass. The alpine trail meandered through a steep upper basin, with two hike-a-bike sections at the top. French Pass was nasty wet and cold. A rain/wet snow cloud engulfed the top of the pass and for the next 1.5 hours we got brutally weathered. Then we descended down a hairy, rocky, old stream channel, which felt like riding through a blender. Finally, we entered sunshine at the bottom and felt revived. Subsequently, we set a steady, hard pace up the next 30 minute climb before the rolly-polly, chicken head descent to the finish line.
Overall, however, we rode a strong and consistent race, putting an additional 13 minutes into the Swiss Power Team. We are having an awesome time and riding some of the best single track of our lives. The Hammer products are keeping us fully recovered and powered during the race, which has been a huge factor in our success in winning the first three stages thus far in the mens open duo.
Thanks again to our major sponsors, Hammer Nutrition and Sportsman SKi Haus, and HUGE thanks to all the support of our friends and families. Hopefully we're not boring you to death with these...
Mully and Benny
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Race Report: Muhlfeld was feeling feisty at the start and tried to get Pua Sawicki to come over to our man cave tonight, to which she responded with a crisp downshift and hammered away down the trail, guess she can't take a joke! Meanwhile Parsons was still waking up his dormant legs and finding his way up through the pack. Apparently our timidness at going into the red yesterday set us up well today as we were easily riding in the top ten for the first 45 minutes of the race. Then a couple mechanicals started biting us (front derailleur shifted, seat post slipping again, chain drop) and we quickly lost 5 minutes and 5 spots. No big deal, we're in this for the long haul. Feeds went smooth, Parsons was pounding the endurolytes, antifatigues, and aminos to fight cramping in the first couple hours and turned around midway to regain "rock star" legs.
Todays trails made yesterday's look like mincemeat pie with babyheads for flavor. We were greeted with an epic descent of buff, tree-blurringly fast singy from a high point of 11,600' along the Colorado Trail. The course was truly a gem as Mike put on some of Brecky's best singletrack. We still kept our pace in check but were psyched to have easily cracked the top 15 today and put an additional 15 minutes into the Swiss Endurance Racers men's duo team (putting them roughly 50 minutes back). We are committed to keep riding within our limits through the week in hopes of doing something a little special on the last day or two.
On a final note, today was truly the biggest breakthrough sensation Ben's ever felt racing on the bike and fueling with Hammer Products. Though his legs felt great, they were on the verge of cramping. After catching back up on the supplements and calories, he felt at his best thus far. Here's to another day of ripping trail and defending the leaders' jerseys!
Clint Muhlfeld and Ben Parsons
Monday, August 23, 2010
Stage 1- Last year Stage One consisted of a nine mile prologue, but this year it was replaced by something slightly longer... In fact, they dubbed it "Queen Stage-worthy": 41 miles, 6100' of climbing... all above 10,000 feet.
And so it begins, Day 1 done and smiles are all around at Team Hammer/Sportsman. In a true ADD/impulsive style, we decided to throw our chips into 1 pot and shoot for the podium in the Open Men's Duo. Not knowing much about our competition, we decided to just gun for the boys we normally duke it out with, but not go too deep knowing that the elevation and 6 days of marathon style mountain bike racing will compound exponentially. At the start line Mike McCormick, the race promoter/organizer, sent us off with a good vibe as we all rolled up the road waiting for Bishop to begin the "stab 'n twist" torture the rest of us would expect.
The race went well, as we were greated with over 95% of pure satisfaction singy, 1% tear your body and sidewall apart road/trail, and a the rest smooth road so you could actually take a moment to take a swig of heed, pound some endurolytes, and gulp a glop of gel. Steve Born at Hammer gave us a great hourly schedule of fueling and supplementing, with 1 bottle/hour heed and perpetuem, 2 caps each of endurance aminos, antifatigues, and endurolytes galore. We both felt incredible the entire length of the stage with no lows, although we made it a point to ride conservatively and stay out of the red zone due to the lack of oxygen. Towards the end, the legs starting feeling the effects of all the high-ele climbing, but we pounded a few more endurolytes and felt great all the way to the line. We were paced excellent throughout the entire race, and continually moved up through the pack as we kept our pace to an uncomfortable but sustainable level. Our only mishaps were a few stops for a slipping seat post and a dropped chain.
We are both really excited after taking roughly 15 minutes out of the next men's duo team (we think), and finishing somewhere in the top 20 overall. It is a super stacked line up here and we just want to race a smooth, smart, and bonk/mechanical free race. We both are feeling like our best bet is to just gradually turn up the dial every day as we get used to the altitude and find our enduro legs. We'll keep you posted! Tomorrow entails 45 miles and 7300' of climbing, so we're going to do a little cold water soaking, globus sessioning, and leg elevating.
Ben and Clint