Race Report by David Wells
Battenkill - Without question, the most difficult race I have ever done. The course and conditions were absolutely BRUTAL! Nitro Nick and I listened to a steady rain allll night long in the motel. The officials were forced to make an early morning course change and that had a lot of people talking. Ted drove some of the course the night before and described the dirt sections as "Peanut Butter". He forgot to say weather it was "Creamy" or "Crunchy", but being a BIG fan of Peanut Butter, I was excited to see it for myself.
I saw some good race action for the first 16 miles, Getting to line up and start a race with team mates David Hildebrand and Todd Bowden was a thrill in itself. I was kicked out of the field and joined a group of stragglers who ended up punching me in the gut like "Pyle" in the movie Full Metal Jacket and left me crying from the pain. It was really awesome to get caught by Jonathan Tarbox 's field and to see him in race action in a close field.He gave me a "HEAVY D!!!!" shout out which encouraged me up the climb where he passed me. Jon had dirt on his face, so needless to say he looked pretty happy. Then I was off to spend some more alone time with a couple of little battles with guys here and there. There were hundreds of people on the course, so there was always an opportunity to pass, or in my case, be passed by someone. Then along came Ted C. to also take the time to throw out a "HEAVY D!!!" shout out. I could go on and on about the race details and excruciating course conditions, but the truth is......
The experience was far greater than the course. Being able to spend a couple of days with team mates, and the full support of team mates who weren't there physically , but would send us Battenkillers nice messages and well wishes were so appreciated. David Jacoboski was even at the finish line to give a "GO EXPO"!
I also want to thank Robert Kiernan for getting my race rig prepped and ready for the race. As usual, BIg Ring tuned it to absolute perfection. I never missed a shift and never got a flat. However, I did run out of gears ( My problem, not Bob's fault)on a couple of the hills, but I never walked! I have so much appreciation for all of those who have raced this event, and would encourage all of you who haven't to go! The amazing feeling of accomplishment at the end of the race is a real rush. Thanks Mark Shea for staying in my ear when I wanted to quit and I could hear you say "Come on Wells, your gonna love the way you feel at the end". Well he was right and a big reason I was able to finish. That's why I say the Team Support from everyone has and is incredible. The unity and support we provide one another, weather it's on a group ride, in an email, a text message, or shouted out from the fence line is so motivating! Positive energy is contagious! Make a difference and pat somebody on the back and tell them "Good Job"! It goes a long way. GO EXPO!!!!