Monday, July 25, 2011

Capitol Reef Classic

 On July 14th Jenn, Mark and I headed south for the fourth annual Capitol Reef Classic Stage Race.
This is one of Mark's favorite races for a number of reasons.
 It's one of the few stage races he is able to finish because 
all the stages are on Friday and Saturday. 
It includes a great time trial course, a circuit race - NO CRIT
And an 80 mile road race with a tough climb up to Fish Lake
and then back to town.

This year Mark's teammate Cris Williams came. Mark rode in the Masters 35+ category and Cris rode in the Masters 45+ category... they like to spread the love (or pain as the case may be).                                                                            Two days before the race Mark got a stomach bug and wasn't sure if he would be able to race but after a call to Dr. Wood and some excellent advice Mark was feeling better and decided to race.

Every time we go we stay at the Sandstone Inn in a little town called Torrey. It's kind of an artsy town with one tiny grocery store, art shops, a cool book store, lots of little restaurants including the Diablo Cafe which is one of my all time favorite restaurants. The food there is fresh, different, so tasty and beautiful (and a bit pricey) but worth it (probably a good thing we don't live closer).

 Mark rode a little cautiously in the time trial because he was uncertain as to how he would feel and he had the circuit race in the afternoon. He ended up 4th overall, about 40 seconds behind the leader and 10 and 12 seconds behind second and third place (I think... ).

Every year we have done this race it has been very hot but this year it was about 15 degrees cooler which was a welcome change.

The circuit race begins in Teasdale, goes through Torrey and around some beautiful countryside and back to Teasdale for a second lap. It has some good hills to climb as well as some fun downhill. The group usually drops the weakest riders on the hills and the strongest riders finish together. Jenn and I drove wheel support for this race and Jenn took some great pictures.

Mark came in second a few seconds ahead of the rest of the group so there was not much change in the GC from  this race as was expected.

After the race Mark was encouraged at how good he felt. We went back to the hotel, ate at the hotel restaurant, watched a movie (John Adams - really good) read (Shannon Hale, Forest Born - second time - loved it again) and got ready for the next day.

Saturday morning was cool and beautiful. Every one was feeling good - except me, I got Mark's bug - ugh! Luckily I knew how to handle it. Jenn and I followed the race taking pictures and giving time splits. On the first climb Mark, old teammate Zan (currently 5th place) and Mark Schaffer (currently first) dropped everyone else on the climb up to Fish Lake. Jenn and I pretty much missed the first feed because we were giving splits but as we were trying to get there Mark said he didn't need the bottle - it wasn't as hot as usual... whew! We gave them a few more splits and then went up the the feed zone at Fish Lake. They were steadily increasing their lead.

When they came through they were over a minute ahead of one of Mark Schaffer's teammates (second place guy) who was trying to bridge. Mark Z and Zan worked while Mark S sat in.

 In the end the three finished 10 mintues ahead of the others who had regrouped and were now riding together. Mark Shaffer was first, Mark Z was second and Zan was third. Our Mark also won King of the Hill... a $25 gift certificate to Cafe Diablo!!!!!  I think we will go again next year!
(the race and Cafe Diablo)


Amy said...

Yea! Good job on the pictures!

Urthman said...

Great pictures Karen. Bishop Z is just awesome!