2013 West Coast Rapha Gentlemen’s Race.
102miles // 13,959ft
We were lucky enough to have been invited to this unofficial/ unsanctioned/ street cred worthy “race.” Our 6 man roster included: Travis, Connor, Kevin, Joseph, David, and Naveen. For some of us, it was the longest/most grueling/mindblowing 7 hrs we had ever spent on a bicycle. For others like Travis, it was tough, but maybe nothing he hadn’t endured before?! It was quite humbling to see him ride the front and drag us to the top of the many peaks and valleys we rode. If one or two of us started to dangle, he would slide to the back of our 6-pack and help out with food/drink/words of encouragement to keep us going. What a mate!
The course was definitely one for a “hardman” (and woman) and those who just love “classical terrain” as David calls it. Heaps of climbing, yes… but the kicker? Mile 30-60 was unrelenting as we had to climb (and descend briefly) through gravel, dirt, rocks, sand, trees, rocks, branches, sand, rocks, stones, sand, twigs, and bushes. Did we mention how much sand and rock there were on the “roads”? Inevitably, there were times that some of us absolutely despised this classical terrain. Whenever there would be some relief of climbing in the form of a short, uber technical, sandy, rocky, sketchy descent, another gnarly climb presented itself right away. Oh yes.
4 flats was what we had to deal with. Those same 4 flats was the difference between our 4th place and possibly winning the “race.” We started 2nd to last out of 24 teams of 6 riders. Within the first quarter of the race, we almost passed the majority of the teams. After our first flat tire however, it was all back and forth, yo-yo’ing with different teams after that. It was lots of fun to chat and ride alongside the other teams during the most gnarliest parts of the race. It seemed like every mile or two, someone from each team was changing a flat or fixing a mechanical.
Our guys did a great job of riding as a TEAM. We stuck together and basically rode the race as a team time trial. Whenever someone got a flat, 2 or 3 of us would assist and made for an efficient tube change. “Well did you even have any fun while you were racing that hard?!” Hell yes, it was a blast! Pace lining down the descents was super fun!
Overall, ride time was exactly 7 hours, and according to the timekeeper, we were stopped for 34 mins. We had heard that Bike Effect who finished 2nd, had ZERO flats! Congrats to all the teams who endured the fantastic race course designed by Ben Lieberson from RAPHA. We can’t wait to see the video!
BRITEsport would like to thank RAPHA for the invitation to the gentlemen’s race. Everything was greatly organized, and the festivities afterwards at the brewery were fun times. Here’s to hoping we get another invite next year :)
19 Notes/ Hide
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