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Just a Hundred Feet

100 ft. Doesnt sound like much, and when mentioned on a race flyer, 100ft of climbing, pffft, hardly L'Alpe D'huez is it. But 100ft is a 10 story building - every lap -so you're climbing the sears tower twice during a race.

Anyway, to the race report, I'm at Muskego Park, the 35+ cat3s are lining up, and I'm into the pedals clean as we depart up the last part of that 100ft rise after the start/finish line. At the top we sweep down through some easy bends at 40+ speed (my 50x11 is maxxed out) then take a bumpy 90deg right over flat land to the foot of the climb.

There's some tight argy bargy and attempts at intimidation on the way round the first lap, but it settles into clean two wide cornering at the tightest right-hander, not like Monsters at all. (I'm skipping Monsters this year, and all its craziness and crashes, so it would be ironic indeed to crash here)

Humping up the hill and then countering an early but dangerous looking 4 man attack has me gassed, so I take shelter and tell myself to stay in the saddle up the hill from then on.

Its a long race of edgy attacks that founder, and a group of 20 is still together last lap. Up the hill 2 are away, cruel acceleration up the 15% grade section, then 3 set off after them and I jump on behind another guy and chase onto what is now looking very dangerous. He fades, lets it gap and I have to go around him and fight to close. Some help please. I look around and its just me and him, the rest are 20 yards back. He's gassed but clinging to my wheel. No choice, I toil on, closing the gap slowly on the attackers who are now 5 together and ready to decide it among themselves.

Top speed downhill to the right hander and I'm owning this one, full racing line and eff the guy behind who's had a free ride for half a lap. No braking, just rattle some fillings out over the bumps and I'm through. I'm on the back of the lead group, but totally done in. The climb begins and it goes pretty quick. Its carnage. I don't have much left but I manage to take one guy with an uphill throw - 5th, in the points and the money for the first time in cat3 out of 45 racers.

--Bevan Brookfield