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Despite swearing I'd never do this race again after finishing in 95+ degree heat last year, I went back. This time I left Spotty in the garage, and loaded up the Sultan. Perfect bike for this race. The only thing I'd change on this bike would be to put a Fox Talas 29er on the front. I'll just go ahead and consider my inability to do that to be DT's fault. :D Come on man, flex some of your Industry King muscle with those guys! For you racer guys, here is a somewhat lengthy race report.

The short version is that the Sultan took me to first in my class (old guys), and third overall -- take that all you young, sponsored, weigh-nothing racer dudes! The Sultan also insisted on passing the eventual winner on the downhill leading to the finish of lap 1, thus ensuring the meaningless glory of winning the first of three laps.

The race was 100 miles long over three nearly identical laps, and included slightly over 18,000 feet of climbing. It took me almost nine and three-quarter hours to complete. The race can be described with about 90% accuracy by saying that we climb gravel roads and descend single-track trails.

LAP 1: The paved "neutral roll out" start lasted less than a quarter mile before the pace car pulled away, and the race was on! A few miles later, we turned onto a gravel road, and started the first big climb, which lasted about an hour and a half. Of that, MAYBE seven minutes was downhill, split into two short sections. At the top (Aid 3), we got onto our first section of trail, by which time I had made my way into third, with first and second way out front somewhere. A few more miles of rolling gravel road after that first piece of trail, and we started the nearly 15 mile mostly downhill trail to the finish line of Lap 1. Halfway down, I caught up to second place, who immediately yielded the trail and shouted encouragement. Great sport. A few miles later, I caught up with the leader, who did not seem to be in the mood to allow a friendly pass. About two miles later, I managed to get by him at the last switchback before the finish line, and pulled a minute or so on him by lap's end. I was feeling great at that point, and grabbed some food and water, which allowed second place to get ahead of me again, by a little bit. Dang it!

LAP 2: Shortly into the second lap, the leader didn't make it up a short, tricky climb on a narrow trail with me right behind him, forcing me to get off the bike and trot up the climb behind him. I passed him at the top and took off, but he was super strong, and reeled me in on a gradual uphill section a mile or so later. I pulled over and let him pass, and that is the last I saw of him. He had not been riding his mtb much this season, and I guess his downhill skills came back to him a little bit on each subsequent lap. OR DT's INABILITY TO GET FOX TO MAKE A 29er TALAS SLOWED DOWN MY DESCENDING AS I GOT MORE TIRED THROUGH THE DAY. ;) The rest of lap two was fun, but completely uneventful, since I don't think I encountered another rider for the entire remaining 30 miles.

LAP 3: Sure enough, about halfway up the huge gravel road climb, I started to feel the fatigue a bit -- hey, I'd been on the bike over seven hours at this point -- so I eased up a gear for about 5 minutes, and what do I see, but second place closing in on me. I surged away twice, but he came back again, climbing like I MIGHT have been on the first lap. That guy had some kind of endurance! I was later told he races 24-hour solo races. If so, that would probably explain his climbing speed at "only" seven hours into our race. That was the end of anything interesting on lap 3, except several lappers that got out of the way so quickly and politely that they definitely deserve big props. So third place overall it was.

Side Note For Other Big Guys: Neither the first or second place rider appeared to weigh even 150 pounds, so at 190 I'm stoked to have climbed close to as fast as them. But as an old gym teacher used to tell us, "close" only counts in horseshoes and hand-grenades!

I sure don't have the skills of the Liggett/Sherwen/Roll Tour d'F announcing team, but hopefully I've provided some entertainment to those of you who do a little racing.

Kosmo
 

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Toby Wong?
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congrats Kosmo. obviously DT was right when he said you're a strong rider.

that's a killer race and a great place to ride!
 

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Fun!?

Wow, I was really getting into the race report and thinking that the CCP would be a fun thing to do sometime untill you mentioned 7 hours, that closed that door right quick!
Awesome ride Tom, strong should be capitalized.

DT
 

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Great report and result!!!!!!!!!

PS I am thnking of flying to France and chopping off Roll's arms and hands - his jesticulations are so annoying,,,,,
 

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Let's roll.
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Wow. Fantastic finish. Congrats!

So...any chance any of your endurance rubbed off on the rockers you sold me? :)

On second thought, maybe you should just autograph them for me.
 

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Congrats on a great race. 3rd overall is an amazing result in that race and just finishing that beast is something to be proud of. The CCP is on my list for 08' for sure!
 

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a tight kick sound
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Holy Craps! Way to go.
I ride that trail a lot and it is just murder doing it once!! The downhill is sooooo worth it though.
To say these racers are amazing athletes is quite an understatement. I heard last year that too many people were making it to the finish so this year they tried to make it even harder.
congrats man!!

ps: DT, come on up to OROR (oakridge oregon) some time, it is a super place to ride with tons of great folks :) Not everyone needs to ride the trail 3x.
 

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No, that's not phonetic
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Jeepers. Pages of text and no pics. Is that you, CC?

j/k. Anyway, brilliant job on the race. Way to go, slapping the skinny little pubescents around for the rest of us old dudes.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
tscheezy said:
Jeepers. Pages of text and no pics. Is that you, CC?
Allrighty, then. Since I can't ever imagine doing better than this year, if I ever do it again, my challenge will be to ride 100 miles and climb 18,000 feet (shouting now) WHILE TAKING PICTURES! :eek:

Hope to see you at THC. Scheduling still waffling a bit at this point.
 

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Thanks for the great write up and congrats on the podium finish. Are you using a Reba on the Sultan? I am riding the Wilderness 101 next month on my XL Sultan and my goal is to finish somewhere higher than 3 from the bottom, nowhere close to the podium. It is nice to see the Sultan in use and validated as a successful endurance racing machine.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
PaMtbRider said:
Thanks for the great write up and congrats on the podium finish. Are you using a Reba on the Sultan? I am riding the Wilderness 101 next month on my XL Sultan and my goal is to finish somewhere higher than 3 from the bottom, nowhere close to the podium. It is nice to see the Sultan in use and validated as a successful endurance racing machine.
Yup, Reba. Actually works very well, but you know, the endless, cruel UGI.

Lots of 29ers at the race.

Good luck in the 101. Sounds interesting. How about a link to their website?
 

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Kosmo,
Great job on the finish and nice write-up even without pics. A top 3 finish in any race is awesome, especially if you had to persevere for 9+ hours to attain it.

Congratulations, once again (you earned it...)
 

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Brass Nipples!
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The Sultan would be my bike of choice for an off road hundred if I ever do another (more doubtful with each passing year). Great results.

The availiability of forks still the issue keeping me off a Sultan. I'm watching the F135 reports with considerable interest, but a Pike equivalent would be my first choice.
 
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