This was supposed to be my “A” race and I was feeling strong and ready. After hearing some creaking coming from my Kestrel at REV3 Knoxville, I dropped her off for a last minute tune up. That next day I received the call no one ever wants…”your frame is cracked” literally took my breadth away. It was near the front derailleur and made the bike unsafe to ride. Kestrel was great and worked with my Sports Basement bike tech. My new bike arrives the day before I left and my local shop stayed after hours to built her up for me. I then flew into Kansas and was ready to register and drop off bike. My new Kestrel 4000 is the 2012 model and felt fast in my spin on Saturday.
After racking my new ride, I headed back to the hotel to get a good night rest before the race. I actually slept almost 9hrs somehow and I was off to the race site!
It was announced that the water was over 77′, so wetsuits weren’t allowed. Luckily I was prepared with my swimskin I hadn’t used since last years Honu 70.3. My wave went off 45min after the pro’s started, so I had lots of time to stretch and visualize. The lake was pretty choppy out there and were coming at us from the left side the whole swim. That meant there wouldn’t be any reprieve from the waves. I felt ok out there and pushed hard on the way back. I finished in 37:28 for 24th in the AG of 177(top 13%) and 183 out of 1,600(top 11%). That definitely wasn’t a swim PR for me, but I knew not many peeps passed me.
I was out of T1 in just over 2min, even though I knew something was wrong with my back tire. Once past the mount line, I tried to quickly adjust my back tire to no avail. Before I knew it, I had a few tech guys trying to help me. My back tire kept rubbing against the inside back of the frame. They looked at everything and even took off crank, adjusted brakes, and tire. They were finally convinced that my tire must be the problem and asked if I wanted to try one of their tires. I was up for anything, so I pushed my bike up the hill to meet the guy near the tech tent. At this point I had lost almost an hour and knew an attempt at a Vegas spot wasn’t an option. They tried the new tire to no avail and the SRAM tech guy asked if I wanted to ride to ride his bike. I jumped on that opportunity, as I traveled this far and trained so hard for this. We had to adjust his Lightspeed road bike, as it was an xl and I ride a 55/56 large. Regardless, I was off or at least I thought I was. First I heard the announcer say the last biker had left T1, which meant he/she was right behind me. Then a motorcycle pulled up and asked about my bike change and said that was outside help and I was dq’d…I asked if I could at least finish the bike and he let me go after marking down my number. At this point I was very frustrated and ready to suffer, especially with 1,599 peeps in front of me!
We had constant 20mph winds from all directions and gusts up to 35mph. It was definitely a rolling course with 2,407 ft of elevation, but didn’t have any Oceanside size hills. This was by far the hardest bike I’ve ever ridden. The combination of new bike, winds, 95′ heat and my psyche cracking led to an interesting ride. Regardless, I was very happy to have pushed through, passed over 300 peeps and completed the bike leg!
Coming into T2 was hard, as I just packed up and headed off to find the SRAM tech guy. He told me he figured out the problem right after I left. The Kestrel 4000 has these micro adjuster screws that fine tune the dropouts. If they’re not perfectly aligned, it will cause problems. The dropout screws must not have been tight and moved when I racked or unracked her. That afternoon back at the hotel, I tightened the screws and went out for a fast 20min ride and she was smooth and fast. Now I know, so it won’t happen again!
I purposely skipped the awards ceremony, as I didn’t want to see how far it rolled down for Vegas. I found out later that if I had raced my times from this years Oceanside 70.3 or Rev3 Knoxville time, I would have grabbed a roll down spot…I will get one at Vineman 70.3!
Until next time,