TOLaw’s Cody and Wes Sovis raced with the fast boys this afternoon, joining the likes of Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, Jeremiah Bishop, World Champion Catherine Pendrel and many, many others.
Cody and Wes warmed up, taking advantage of the warming temperatures and the extra time to enjoy the company of the Pros. Perhaps attracted by the really cool Chevy Celebrity the TOLaw squad arrived in, TREK-Subaru and TREK-World Racing pulled up and parked right next to the TOLaw camp and set-up. There was more than enough bike oogling and Cody was able to snap a few shots of the team’s bikes stabled in the parking lot. JHK said a polite hello, and the TREK manager suggested air pressure for Cody’s bike. Heather Irmiger was a delight and warm-up quickly, as did the Flueckinger Brothers, Lukas and Matthias. Lukas was nice enough to give a “Good Luck” as everyone headed to the line. What nice folks, eh?
The start was faster than any Cody or Wes had ever been a part of. The pack hits speeds of well over 30 miles an hour. Just a a few hundred yards from the start, a high speed crash split the field, and in the panic the group caught behind flew hard into the back of the leading 50 or so riders after they rounded the first corner. When the trail collapsed to a small two-track, space ran out quickly. One of the victims, unfortunately, was JHK. Cody nearly hit the former US champion as he came to a halt, his front wheel bent and impossible to turn.
While Wes battled in the rear of the leaders, Cody was gapped on a sandy turn and was caught chasing with twelve other riders, the same group he’d ride with for the first six miles. Not long after, the women leaders caught up, eclipsing a 30 second deficit from the start and flying by Cody. To note, World Champion Catherine Pendrel was relaxed and flying, even giving a spirited “On your left, pal!” as she tore by.
It would be some time before those women caught Wes, but when they did, Wes battled to hold their wheels for as long as possible. He kept them in sight for a full five minutes before the in-fighing between Pendrel, Irminger and the others pulled them ahead of the fighting Wes Sovis.
Cody found himself alone for a long time before finally getting caught by Sue Stephens and another Greyhound rider, and he was able to hop on and take turns pulling. The combined effort of the trio pulled back the remnants of the group ahead, including Sue Vigland. Sue Stephens took off, taking over ninth place on the road for the women. Cody struggled on a few of the steeper climbs, but rallied when he hit the VASA portion of the Iceman course, with which he is intimately familiar. He passed six riders in the final 5k, helping Heather Spencer into the final kilometers to take tenth place. Cody finished up 94th overall in the Pro category, with the final time of 1:55:42!
Wes started fast, went fast, and finished faster. He ended up 90th with the time of 1:52:58. That time was good enough for a top ten in nearly every age category in the Iceman Cometh, and was faster than Wes had expected. While the conditions were perfect, both Cody and Wes were hoping only to come in under the two hour mark, but were well under that, even with the additional mile or so of trail this year.
For the REAL STUFF:
PICASA Web Album Photo Credit Due Mostly To Joe Sovis