From the Archives: Tour of Hurricane, 1995

Early April. Team Xtreme had still not received our kit,
so I was forced into wearing Chevy/Sheriff shorts with plain wrap jersey.

1995, of all the various years I travelled to Utah for this race, was my best showing though, admittedly, that is owed more to what the stats and standings don't reveal.

The Gunlock Road Race was the first stage of the race, with an afternoon time trial to follow (From the Archives February).

From the journal: "As in years past, the early pace was pretty easy. As in past years one of the thirty-seven starters managed to crash at the start line just as we were getting underway; otherwise things wet smoothly all the way to the big climb. I climbed well, getting KOM points as the second to the top while leading a chase of a solo break, Robert Chapman, the eventual overall winner. A lead group of about ten or eleven riders formed at the top and we worked well enough to keep ahead of anyone else. Everyone was contributing, rotating through and taking a turn at the front. The only foreseeable problem standing in my way now was the fast descent of Snow Canyon. Not this year however; I would not be dropped. At the end of the long descent, the pavement came to a, new, and sudden end. Regrading work had shaved off the asphalt and left a hardpack and gravel surface for about a mile. Doom. As soon as I left the pavement my rear tire blew out. With the neutral support vehicle right behind us I got a quick wheel change (thanks guys) but had problems with the spare which was out of true causing me to stop again, after getting back on the road, so that I could open up the brake. In the meantime the first chase group (most of the peloton) came past.

I got things straightened out, made a quick acceleration to get up to the chase, went straight to the front, and pulled the bunch back to pavement. Back on the main road we hit the rollers and kind of settle in to a steady, non-rushed, pace. It was about this time that one guy said to his teammate "watch that guy" meaning me. Damn straight. He didn't mean because I was sketchy, or a squirrel either. The rollers were as good a place as any for an attack, and with one guy slightly off the front, I had a dig. Nothing sudden, just a gradual acceleration. Neither he, nor anyone else reacted. When I looked back after a minute or two I had a biiiigggg gap. I was on a big sweeping left turn and knew there was a descent at the end of it where I would be out of sight, and hopefully out of mind, so I put my head down, tucked my elbows in and went for it. It was a good move, but turned out to be even better, when two miles later, a couple guys caught up - three pairs of legs are better than one. At the next hill one of my new companions was toast and faded for good. The two of us left, continued to share the effort.

I knew that just before reaching the mile to go sign there would be a short hill, but a good one to attack on. I did, and soloed the rest of the way to the line. With a long uphill finish I was able to look up the road and see a couple riders from the original lead break that formed behind me on the first big climb. Granted, they were off the pace, but I had almost made my way back. Eleventh place, a lot of satisfaction, but oh, what might have been, I have rarely felt so good in a race." 

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