Ore to Shore 2011 is in the books now and I made the most of the experience with the number one plate on my bike as last year’s winner. So much goes into a single race and with the rest of the race calendar it’s hard to do the same preparation twice leading into a race like this. Ore to Shore was a high priority race for sure, but this year it came shortly after a big six-week long block of racing. I went into Ore to Shore well-raced, though perhaps a little less trained. I knew that I’d be ready to go and that the competition would be as tough as ever. It was an exciting race, especially the second half where the pace was consistently high with numerous attacks and counter-attacks being made.
The start was clean and I was able to keep trouble free early on. Cole set the pace up Lucy hill and I was able to follow without problem as the first split was made. I felt good and kept towards the front as to avoid any mishaps. The pace would go hard in some sections, but for every section that we rallied through, there was a section following where we all sat up and recovered. With so much non-technical, high speed riding it’s understandable that no one is willing to set tempo at the front. I was content to wait it out, knowing that the real racing would happen later.
On the 510 road things finally picked up and the attacking began. I was in the mix and feeling fine with this early on. Between attacks there would be brief opportunities to recover and I was taking full advantage. Attacks became more frequent (and recovery harder to come by) and once we were about 11 miles from the finish I was no longer able to respond to the acceleration. Brian and Tristan were clearly the strongest guys. As fast as Tristan went off the front I was going off of the back as we went up one of the grassy ski trail climbs. Mike Phillips laid it down just before this climb so once he got going again we traded pulls shortly before he eventually got away. Five riders were gone at this point while Mike and I rode in the final miles to bring home sixth and seventh places respectively.
Seventh is still a solid result and we set an all-time fastest finish on the course, but I’m still a little disappointed that I missed out on those final miles of racing. There’s not much worse than getting dropped and not being able to do anything about it, but that’s how racing goes on occasion. With a little over a month before Chequamegon I’m looking forward to having another shot at the podium once September comes around.