There couldn’t have been a better venue to create an epic, Texas Mountain Bike race. Nestled in the hill country of Burnet, TX, the newly opened Reveille Peak Ranch attracted some of the best racers in Texas to compete in a 100-kilometer mountain bike race. The course included epic single track, fast jeep roads, challenging climbs, granite rock faces and the cactus throughout the course forced racers to stay on their toes. A challenging trail, dry conditions, and record temperatures that seared to 107 degrees created the ultimate setting for the 2011 Reveille Peak 100.
While leading out the racers on the electric motorcycle the first lap, I was able to get to the top of Decision Point Peak (the highest peak on the ranch), as the leader on lap one, Ian Moore (Bicycles Outback) crested the top. Ian had just climbed a granite rock face that, at times had a 34% grade, but he was still grinning from ear to ear. Gasping for air, he said, “This is awesome!”
Ian and a handful of solo open riders, including Jorge Munoz, Nathan Winkelmann, and Cole Kirkpatrick, made it to the summit in a pack fairly close together. However, by the time I saw them two-thirds of the way through the first lap, Ian had opened up a two-minute-gap. Jorge chased in second and had a forty-second-gap on Nathan and Cole who were pacing off each other and riding steady, buying their time.
Ian set the fastest lap time of the event with his first lap taking only an hour and eighteen minutes. This lap time shattered our predictions, as we expected the racers to pace themselves much more. However, by the end of the day, many of the riders had dropped out; the race was one of attrition, and if you weren’t staying hydrated and eating, it was hard to keep up with what you were losing in sweat.
The technical course allowed little recovery and the continuous climbing took a lot out of the racers. I moved around the course, changing positions often, and was able to catch a glimpse of what was happening across the board. I found Ian, walking his bike in. He had sheered off his rear derailleur after hitting a rock mid-drink. This mechanical resulted in a race-ending mistake for the leader.
Nathan and Cole had stayed together, and eventually reeled in Jorge Munoz to take over first and second place, respectively. Then, midway through the third lap, Nathan flatted and had to run his bike several miles into the pit area for repairs. By the time he set off on the fourth and final lap, Cole had a nine-minute lead. However, Cole was beginning to cramp and knew that it would be a challenge to hold off Nathan. Then, Cole flatted, and by the time he fixed it, Nathan had appeared out of the rock and cactus. They rode together briefly, before Nathan rode away to take the win. Jonathan Pattie rounded out the podium in 3rd.
Female solo winner, Sarah Ginsbach, said that this was the toughest race she had ever done. She cried her way through lap three and was unable to complete lap four, her closest competitor still over an hour behind.
The course took its toll on the two-person teams as well, many not finishing all four laps. Many underestimated the power of this course and the South Texas heat. By the end of the day, everyone was covered in salt-stains, dirt, and all were commenting on how challenging the event was.
The event was a complete success, raising nearly $2,000 for the Texas High School Mountain Bike League! Everyone is looking forward to next year’s race, and all of us at Terra Firma Racing were proud to be part of the first year.
67 racers started the race (43 solo & 12 teams of 2)
10 of 43 solo racers finished (23% finish rate, 77% DNF)
8 teams of 12 finished (66% finish rate, 34% DNF)
On 10/25/2011 1:27:00 PM
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