24-hour bike race tests endurance
By BAY KELLEY
By noon Sunday, the racers at the Newsweek 24 Hours of Donner Pass mountain bike race were functioning on little more than adrenaline.
“During the race, you wonder what the heck you’re doing out there,” said Truckee’s Garry Morgan, “but when it’s over, you feel pretty good.”
Morgan, 35, rode for the team Wallaby Stew. Stew claimed first place in the men’s expert division by completing 23 laps over the 24-hour period.
“We had a good strategy,” explained Morgan. “For the first eight laps, [our four riders] rotated for each lap. After that, we split up and began to ride three laps apiece, so that our other guys could get some sleep.
“The other teams, I think, just kept with the rotation and were really starting to feel it at the end,” concluded Morgan.
Velo Sapiens finished second in the men’s expert division with 22 laps.
Nat Ross, racing in the men’s solo class, finished with a course record of 17 laps, riding continuously throughout the 24-hour period.
When asked how he was feeling at the end of his final lap, Ross responded, “burly and burlier.”
Placing third in the men’s solo division was Dana M. Bradshaw of Truckee.
“I rode really hard for the first 10 laps,” said Bradshaw, “and then just bonked for the last two.”
The other third place competitor, Steve Scott, spent large portion of Sunday morning catching up (while Bradshaw was hum-drumming through a six-hour final lap), but was unable to log in before Bradshaw at the noon hour.
Tom Manning also represented Truckee in the race, biking for the team with, perhaps the most memorable name, Over the Bars by Seymour Butts. Manning’s fastest lap was one hour and 10 minutes.
Jake Gettier posted the fastest time in the race, completing the six-mile course in 51-minutes. Racing for the event’s organizer, Granny Gear Productions, Gettier’s slowest lap was 59 minutes.
John Percy of Tahoe City challenged Gettier by posting lap times of 52, 53, 54, 55, and 59-minutes
The Colorado Sunflowers won the women’s sports division by posting 12 laps. With only three racers (vs. the usual four) the Sunflowers matched last year’s winning total.
The team Pain won the men’s veteran division by completing 20 laps, while Your Fat Ugly Sister claimed the men’s sport with 22 laps.
The race for third and fourth place was very competitive in the men’s sport division. Ransacked Dignity eked by Three Firemen and a Smart Guy, posting 21 laps at 12:54, two minutes before Three Firemen.
Ransacked Dignity raced with only three members after their first racer, Cody Stropki, took a fall on his first lap and dislocated his shoulder.
“It’s kind of disheartening,” said Stropki, “I kept wanting to get back in there. My legs felt fine, I just couldn’t hold on to the handle bars.”
Stropki rode over two miles with the dislocated shoulder.
The five-person open was claimed by the Granny Gear team that posted 22 laps one minute past the noon hour. About 20 minutes later, Rose and the Rockets logged in for their 22nd lap, putting them in second place.
Consensus was reached regarding the course, which was aptly described as “hellacious,” “insane,” “grueling” and “very brutal.”
“I think I did about 8,000 vertical feet of climbing and did about 50miles of riding,” said Morgan, “which is a lot for such a technical course.”
“I’ve done about six of these events,” said Bradshaw, “and that course is easily the hardest.”
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The Truckee girls’ soccer team remains undefeated, picking up a 5-0 win at home Saturday against Churchill County.