June 08, 2009
This is the fourth and final report from Stephen Regenold on his experience racing in the Ultimate Mountain Challenge, a multidisciplinary competition at the 2009 Teva Mountain Games in Vail, Colo.
Wrapping up the four-contest Ultimate Mountain Challenge event, the Fetzer Vineyards Road Bike Hill Climb was held Sunday afternoon. I can’t say I was fresh for this one, as I’d maxed my body for 1 hour and 7 minutes in the morning on the 10k footrace.
But the time trial ride — which included about 10 miles of distance and almost 2,000 vertical feet of elevation gain — started off fine. I clipped into my Giant TCR Advanced SL, a top-tier road bike, and pedaled hard out of the gate.
After crossing under the interstate, the course started to climb. A man in a skin suit and an aerodynamic helmet passed me. I cranked and dropped to an easier gear, spinning up into the thin air.
Near the top, I was spent. I shouted out to a volunteer: “How much further?” It was only a quarter-mile to go, so I put it down. My final time, at 40 minutes, was about ten minutes behind the race leaders, but fine by me given the exhausting event of the morning run.
Giant’s TCR Advanced SL road bike, which was developed for “the pro ranks” and costs upwards of $4,000, was a blast. This is one of the quickest bikes I have ever ridden, and it no doubt helped on the climb. The company includes a composite frame and fork, the Shimano Dura Ace 20-speed drivetrain, a Mavic Ksyrium SL Premium wheelset, and a cockpit with Raceface Revolution Bar and Stem. A sweet ride.
In the end, my 40-minute finish in the Time Trial — added up with my scores from the other four races of the weekend — put me in 5th place overall in the amateur division of the Ultimate Mountain Challenge. I was happy with my rank. And I’ll be happy to come back next year and race even harder on the “ultimate mountains” around Vail.
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