– Words by Travis Dixon, photos by Angelica Dixon –
‘Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.’ I learned this old mariners saying when I was young, and it proved to be true today. The sunrise was gorgeous and the riders had to deal with a cruel Mother Nature on the course today.
The alarm came early after the camp fire brews of the night before but we had to get going to avoid the road closures. The course again featured some big climbing but it was County Road 77 that was the jewel of the day. The road surface initially was old chip and seal with poorly patched pavement but was then replaced with a fresh silky smooth black ribbon for 42 miles. It must’ve been an awesome ride. Burros, horses, and buffalo were well represented today and even out in the ‘boonies’ of Colorado the race is well supported.
Charley and Mary had their hands full making the numerous cattle guards a little less sketchy for the racers.
Richey, who works for the Department of Corrections, made sure the traffic from the busy side roads was controlled.
Yes, there is a South Park Colorado!
The ascent of Hoosier Pass is a rather straight forward climb but the weather later in the day made it quite interesting for the racers. The pass tops out at 11,539 feet and when we came through it was 54 degrees and raining, not fun. The descent is a blast … on dry roads … and when you’re not hypothermic!
As we walked the final climb we ran into Boo Bikes who had been following the race with a sweet converted school bus. We were able to hang out with James Wolf, one of the owners of the company who shared his passion with us. “I live in Vietnam and have my own Bamboo plantation. I build the frames and ship them to Fort Collins (Colorado) where the company is based, and they build up the bikes there.”
James’ energy is infectious and language colorful as he explains the construction of their custom hand woven carbon-boo frames to their stock Alu-Boo bikes. “There are over 2000 different types of Boo. It’s like weed, there’s good shit, and not so good. I grow the good shit because I want my bikes to be fantastic.” These bikes are truly works of art and are holding their own on the single track and roads across the country.
The race ended with a finishing circuit around Breckenridge, which included the climb over Boreas Pass. It’s a short but ridiculously steep road. A sign states 10% at the top. Not sure what tool they were using when they took this measurement but clearly it needs to be recalibrated! Cycling is a tough sport but this climb at the end of this stage was just plain mean. However, the crowds that gathered and the party that ensued I think helped ease the pain just a bit for the riders.
We sampled some amazing lemonade from Isabella, a 5 year old local who was on her union enforced work break. So dad was manning the stand.
The rain lifted and the chalk came out immediately. This young girl grabbed the first dry patch of pavement and went to town.
Party and Racing!!!!!!
After all the rain and 100 miles in the saddle, Laurent Didier of Trek Factory Racing, was solo over the final climb of Boreas Pass.
Jens couldn’t help but smile as the crowd lifted him up the last climb. No longer did the road graffiti read ‘shut up legs’ but now ‘shut up retirement!’.
Jacques is a 78 year old Frenchman who’s passionate with just about everything, including my wife!. “I ride all my life”, and as he grabs his cap continues, “and this is my fucking helmet! Well, I wear one in the woods cuz I crash …” Well said Jacques!
USAPCC’14 St.5 Results:
1 Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek Factory Racing 3:50:38
2 Janier Alexis Acevedo Colle (Col) Team Garmin-Sharp
3 Rob Britton (Can) Team SmartStop
4 Benjamin King (USA) Team Garmin-Sharp 0:00:15
5 Jose Joao Pimenta Costa Mendes (Por) Team Netapp-Endura 0:01:11
6 Daniel Eaton (USA) Bissell Development Team 0:01:26
7 Serghei Tvetcov (Rou) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis 0:01:33
8 Richard Handley (GBr) Rapha Condor JLT
9 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team
10 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo
GC After Stage 5:
1 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 16:55:56
2 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:20
3 Serghei Tvetcov (Rou) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis 0:00:37
4 Thomas Danielson (USA) Team Garmin-Sharp 0:00:39
5 Matthew Busche (USA) Trek Factory Racing 0:00:51
6 Joseph Rosskopf (USA) Hincapie Sportswear Development 0:01:14
7 Carter Jones (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies 0:01:22
8 Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team Netapp-Endura 0:01:28
9 Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:01:49
10 Julian Kyer (USA) Team SmartStop 0:01:55
11 Alex Howes (USA) Team Garmin-Sharp 0:03:01
12 Bruno Pires (Por) Tinkoff-Saxo
13 Clement Chevrier (Fra) Bissell Development Team 0:03:24
14 Lucas Euser (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling 0:04:43
15 Riccardo Zoidl (Aut) Trek Factory Racing 0:04:48