Stage 2 report:
It was another hard fought battle for me today. As I did in stage 1, my focus was on trying to finish in front of my Breck friend Mike Driver who finished 2nd in 50+ last year. Mike is a fast starter and a better climber than I so I quickly lost track of him after the start (which consists of a 5 mile climb). Eleven miles into the 42 mile stage I spotted him at the first aid station. We rode within sight of each other for the next 29 miles. Each fire road climb he pulled away but never more than 30 sec. each decent or winding single track through the woods I would quickly real him in but due to the nature of the trails I chose not to pass. I patiently waited for the right opportunity. With one 800 foot climb to go (on mostly fire road) I new I needed to stay close to have a chance to catch Mike and pass him on the descent to the finish. I turned myself inside out to hold his wheel for the first 600 foot of the climb. The last 200 feet of the climb was on single track where I seemed to have an advantage all day. At the 600 foot point, I pushed past Mike and ramped up the effort slightly. Much to my surprise, the effort appeared to crack his resolve and I pulled away to a 1:30 min margin by the finish! I got 3rd place on the stage. As a bonus, I got closer to Michael Hagen in 2nd place on this stage (4 minutes margin on stage 2 vs. 11 minutes on stage 1). Now time to recover so I can try again tomorrow, and the next day, and.....