Cat 1,2 Race Reports: The Koppenberg!
From 3rd place finisher Drew Christopher:
Guys, that was beautiful mayhem out there today. Guess who I saw in the race today? Every single freakin’ Primal dude that pinned a number. It’s hard to describe how cool that is. Matty D freakin lit it up from the word go, like as soon as he was clipped in. When he’d had his nose in the wind for a long time and peeled off, Noonan was right there to keep the tempo suuuuper high coming into the climb. As I can only say because of excellent teamwork, I came into the climb with a clean sight line at the road. And I was so excited that I smashed over the top and got Allen Krugoff and Yannick Eckmann over with me so we rolled it for a lap. Things were happening behind us, you guys could see, I only know that the safe bet is Burleigh was doing a bunch of work to reel us in.
Then the shuffle, reshuffle, attacks, counter attacks, and so forth for a couple laps. Bad luck coming past Dan who was holding a flatted wheel and Noonan soon suffered the same fate. Then Burleigh went in a move with like a Lucky Pie and Coga dude. Eberly, Austin, and Brian were all right there and we chatted that when that move came back, we would all have to keep a close eye on Burleigh. Move came back and sure enough, on the next lap he went again just as we hit the dirt. Krugoff and a couple other bros pulled us into the climb with Burleigh dangling at like 6-8 seconds. Climb and fireworks. Like illegal in 49 states and only on the 4th in Alaska fireworks. When the dust settled, Yannick and I had made it to Burleigh and we all 3 went ballistic. After the right turn onto Marshall Road and up that climb, it looked like it got close to coming back. But all 3 of us were motivated and knew that tactically if we could make it to the dirt again and over the Kopp without getting caught, we were pretty much home free. Again, sure enough. Once that gap was established we were gone. Things were happening behind us, you guys could see, I only know that the safe bet is since Burleigh wasn’t there doing a bunch of work to reel us in, there wasn’t much chance we’d come back.
Then weather was coming. Dang, lightning. <If you don’t know, there is a rule about weather and if a lightning bolt strikes within X distance (3 or 5 miles maybe) they have to shorten, postpone, or end the race> I knew this and expected we might go from having seen 3 to go, to seeing 1 to go. Instead, the officials accidentally fell asleep and forgot to change the lap card at all, so we 3 told them that it was 2 to go. The officials awoke refreshed from their siesta and decided that the race did in fact need to end on the 2 to go lap. They were even nice enough to go to the top of the Kopp and tell the remainder of the field that they would finish that lap. The powers that be, however, did not manage to get we 3 the message until about 400 meters to go. We came around the final corner in the order of Burleigh, me, Yannick and oh my gosh was I going slow (comparatively). I love that corner and am willing to bet I can take it faster than anyone in Colorado but I was not doing that in this particular instance. In fact, I was doing quite the opposite, up in the hoods, soft pedaling, and slow rolling my way back into Burleigh’s draft from a few bike lengths back. But wait! What’s that! Officials on both side of the road waving hats!?! Are they saying something, its windy, I can’t hear? Ohhhhhhh, you’re finishing right now. THINK FAST!
I thought the slowest. 3rd place. She’s a cruel, take no prisoners, whore, that Koppenberg. But damn is she a good time. 4th year running finding myself on the podium there and I keep having a damn good time. Indeed, good times.
Last excitement of the day, USADA! KT and I got drug tested. Kyle took like 96 minutes to pee. I peed right away, even made some good eye contact with the USADA rep while he watched.