All the words of support and congratulations from people after my Whiskey Off-Road sweep has me both overwhelmed and so incredibly thankful to be a part of such a great community. There are many people and sponsors who helped the weekend come together. Even in mountain biking, it's never a solo effort. So thank you everyone. A big shout-out to my wonderful sponsors, whose support I couldn't pedal around without: Backcountry.com, Niner Bikes, The Nature Conservancy of Arizona, Clif Bar, Crankbrothers, Momentum Endurance, Enve, Geax, Magura, Louis Garneau and Cadence Promotions.
For some insight on what happened during Sunday's race, check out the post-race interview by Cyclingdirt.
To have this 50 mile race come down to a sprint to the line against one of my favorite racers, Erin Huck, was incredible. More than once on the final descent from Sierra Prieta Overlook, I let myself think that I might have the race wrapped up and, each time, Erin rode herself back onto my wheel. A little reminder that races are never over until you cross the finish line. Here's a shot that a local photographer, Les Stukenberg, took from the final corner. The crowds at the finish line were incredible.
Dave McElwaine was also there to catch some great images from the race. The complete gallery is on Cyclingnews.com but here's one of my favorites.
And of course, I have to share this one. I don't think I've seen anymore more excited than TJ.
The biggest rides of the weekend came from everyone who started the Whiskey Off-Road early Saturday morning in the pouring rain (the pros raced on Sunday). The conditions deteriorated and people were caught in blizzard conditions in Prescott's worst winter storm of the year. The video below shows what people were up against.
It was a race of attrition for many, with around half of the race starters abandoning before the finish (which was likely the smart thing to do for many). One of the Arizona Devo riders (a team that TJ coaches), Nick Thomas, persevered in his first race post-surgery. You can read about his race on his blog. Congrats Nick!
TJ and I are now relaxing for a couple days in Sedona before getting our next block of training underway. As we were leaving Prescott Monday morning, we grabbed a local paper to check out the weekend's race coverage and were blow away to see this.
You can find the complete article online. Thanks again! I haven't won too many races in my professional career but it seems like I'm on the right track. It takes many many years for some of us. At times I've wanted to quit but, in the end, I'm still motivated to pedal and explore every day on my mountain bike. I hope you do too!