Aetna-Expo Race Team Riders Tackle Bear Mountain
By Todd Bowden
Photo Courtesy David Hildebrand
If you like smooth roads, long hills, turns, high speed, nice scenery, and good competition - then you should do this race. You also have to enjoy getting up at 4am for a 7:30am start, but it's worth it.
Dave and I got to Lake Welch at Bear Mountain with little time to spare, but the 1st of the three laps was tame enough to get fully warmed up before the fireworks started. Dave showed real patience by not going away until 1/2 way through the 14 mile lap. His break of 2 didn't have the numbers to stay away, and by the end of lap 1 he was back in the fold.
Bear Mountain Classic is unique, having a sprint points competition on the finish line every lap, and a KOM at the top of the 3 mile climb as well. The finish line is on a slight downhill, and I took points each lap - at 47mph! Top speed was 51mph by the bottom - then the fairly steep climb to the top, followed by 9 miles of smooth, rolling scenic parkway.
On the third lap, 7 of us slipped away after the KOM and worked together until 5km to go - when Erin Korf attacked. It was a good gamble, as the work in the break stopped immediately. I was able to go at 2km, and held on for 2nd and the sprint competition. Dave cleaned up by taking the field sprint and finishing in the money at 8th place.
Ed has won this race twice - so we didn't quite live up to his reputation, but we will come back and try again!!!
Todd Bowden - Aetna-Expo Race Team