This would be my fourth installment of the Lake Tahoe Marathon Bike Race Around Tahoe. Marc Pro – Strava has in recent history dominated this race, winning 3 of the last 4 years. Nate, Andy, Jason and I would be the lone stragglers, still not content to put our bikes away for the season. There is some pretty solid prize money for the top 5 finishers and always the promise of $500 to break the old standing record, currently held by MPS. We had some loose plans and goals that went like this; #1 Win #2 Break the Record #3 Have fun. Our plans were based on the contingency of who would show up. We wanted to get all 4 of us off the front and Team Time Trial for the win and the record, always easier said then done. We started the race off at 7:00am in Zephyr Cove after the race director fired his shotgun. We were counting on a tandem to set some pace for us until they broke their chain less than 1 mile into the race. Jason got off the front in a small break of three just before Emerald Bay. We let others take up the pace making while we sat in and waited. There was a large group of riders from Symtec that wanted to break 3 hours and were willing to work on the front… Unfortunately an easy tempo over Emerald Bay was set and they were gone.
The group was down to about 15 riders with Jason and two others off the front. Time to mix it up. Nate, Andy and I started to attack around Meeks Bay. The group eventually came all together around Tahoma when I attacked again and got off the front. Jason followed shortly with a solo bridge, followed by Mike Larsen (Strongman from Oregon), followed by Nate. Finally we had some good odds and began to work well together around the West Shore into Tahoe City. Andy missed his chance to bridge across when Nate went and didn’t want to drag any others up to us, so he was forced to sit in.
It became obvious that we were not on record setting pace and our break companion was taking soft pulls, so in Kings Beach I made a small acceleration. I expected to be followed, but I soon found myself alone. Knowing I had two teammates back there I continued my attack, forcing Mike to chase me down. It didn’t happen… he missed his oppurtunity and was content to sit in and race for second. I was now up the road and settling into a pace that I could hold for an hour. The rest of the race was me chasing the clock for the record… I knew I was close but missed it by 30 seconds in the end. I gave it everything I had and was happy to secure the Win.
Unfortunatley Mike was able to get away from Nate and Jason on the spooner climb and Andy started the field sprint with about 1K to go. We ended up 1,3,4,6, and yes we will be back for more next year.