2018 Kings Valley Road Race
by Michael Myers
April 14, 2018
Race: Kings Valley Road Race (53 miles, 2700 ft)
Category: Men’s Masters 50/60
Team: Ian Gibson (8th) Whitney Phillips (7th), Micheal Myers (3rd) / 60: Jay Hamlin (7th)
Having suffered through the previous year’s whether, both Ian and I spent more time with pre-race kit considerations than race strategy. We decided to see how the race unfolded and respond accordingly…..mistake.
Knowing this was a hard race, we decided to be conservative on the first lap. I was so far back that I did not pay attention to a couple of guys who went off the front within the first few miles. All the strong riders were accounted for so surely they would get reeled in at some point…..
On lap two, we made our way forward and began testing the waters. I made one dig, but the rider that came with me was not ideal, so I sat up. Whitney was next to go and did have one other to work with. I slotted in behind the guy who began the chase. When he turned for help I gave him a cordial smile. Another line of riders came up to begin the chase. I attempted to disrupt by faking a jump but they did not take the bait. Eventually Whitney was reeled in.
Going into the 3rd lap I saw a pace-car ahead and we brought that rider in. Mistakingly I thought we were whole. Only half of the group was left with Jay Hamlin being one of the victims of the vertical nature of the course. Ian and Whitney looked good. We knew that there was a headwind coming up the climb so positioning was paramount.
Coming into the last 1K, I dropped back to see where my most feared competitors where. I Knew their strategy. Grab Myers wheel and come around him with 200 meters. Not rocket science here. When I saw the typical top five riders ducking behind the group spread across the rode, I swung right and rode up the alley. After a 30 second effort I took a peek. Two came with but small gap to the rest. Not knowing, at that time, who I was with, I thought it best not to try to ride away from them. I sat up and took 3rd wheel. With about 300 meters I saw we had the gap so I decided to jump there.
I was as excited as a little school girl….I WON…..or had I.
Well, come to find out, those two guys who were not much based on racing history, worked so well together they stayed away and took the top two spots.
Ian and Whitney played the finish beautifully, using the field and positioning themselves to get great placings. Jay Hamlin won the most tenacious rider of the day award taking 7th without the benefit of a draft for some of the race.