Longmont Death March – 2009


For some odd reason, I’ve always really wanted to win Longmont. It’s somewhat of a death march. It’s usually 90 + degrees with the sun beating down on the field and it’s always fast and aggressive. The form has been coming along and after being diagnosed with Asthma a few weeks ago, I was feeling confident I would be able to breathe without suffocating for a change due to a new treatment I’m on. While my form isn’t wonderful, I was confident I’d be racing well. 

Primal/Hart had a good start to the day with Drew’s little brother Michael winning the Cat 4 race. The force is strong with that family! Can’t wait until he makes the jump up to Pro 1-2. It’s inevitable with him I think.  

As I warmed up, I watched 8 guys from Garmin roll up along with guys from Rabobank, Clif, Bissel, Kelly Benefits, Taylor Phinney and his Livestrong team and Olympian/world cup Mountain bike pro Todd Wells. Combine that firepower with the local powerhouses of VC/Natural Grocers, Ciclismo, Rio Grande, Horizon and Michelob and it was sure to be one fast day. Amazing how a local Colorado race with almost no prize money fields a NRC level field. It’s sweet!

On the backside of the course:


Due to the fact that there were 102 starters, you had to get a good spot off the line. Unfortunately, I showed up later than I should have and I was on the back. The pack was strung out for almost the entire race. I felt really good and was going to chill and save it for the last half hour. I was relatively comfortable, but my position in the middle of the pack soon became the back of the pack as we shelled riders. By the time it was time to move up, it was a little too late and I was cooked both mentally and physically. I held on and finished, but it was ridiculously fast. We averaged 29 mph for an hour and a half. Ouch. 

Drew throwing down another attack:


My teammate Drew had a good day rounding out the top 20 and veteran ex-pro Dan Schmatz stuck it to the young guys for the win. That’s one thing about Colorado. Half the guys on Pro-Am local teams are ex-bad-ass pros. Iowa boy Nick Frey held on for 4th behind Phinney. 

Schmatz winning (I’m somewhere in the back there):


I was bummed I didn’t throw down more of a result, but I could breathe without difficulty and I felt good. I just should have raced more aggressively. Some 40 guys didn’t even finish, so holding on to this group being the working stiff I am was an accomplishment for the day. 

Well, things could have always gone better, but I’m happy I am feeling better, didn’t crash and there is still a good amount of racing left this season. 

For now, I’m in Iowa training with some old friends and visiting family. 


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