|Hauling- Photo Credit Lisa Janssen|
Collin's off the front, basically abandoning his gravel team mates.(I'm not bitter about this*) He's having a great race, a well deserved race day. (Although there's that 15 minute nap he took at the ball field in Roca. And a 1/2 dozen wrong turns.) Strava flybys do not lie.
Collin, two words. DIGITAL. DOPING. Wash that .gpx and be clean, as far as the rest of the world knows.
Jim. We left Jim laying beside the road at mile 112.
I feel the need to address the 20% of my blog readers (2) - You do the math, that have contacted me with concern about abandoning Jim*. Some things you need to understand about Jim.
He's tough. He cycled 10,000 miles last year.
He was in the military. He can handle adversity.
He skydives. He understands risk.
Another thing, and keep this on the DL as he doesn't want to flaunt it, he has connections.
He's a distant cousin to JC. (Hangs with us for street cred only)
Now, I hope those with concern, have a better understanding why Jamie and I had no issue with leaving him on the side of the road.
He's a single speeder anyway.
Upon leaving Jim at the aid station, Jamie and I use the saddle time (2 or 3 minutes) to rid our conscience of guilt. I'm thankful for company on the last leg of the journey.
We head North to the 121 mile aid station and refuel. It's here we connect with Bobby Wintle and Jim Bruer of the Stillwater OK gravel clan. We jockeyed positions with these two for the next several miles. The motivation level is increasing. We're on the last leg!
Jamie and I stop at the Angel oasis around mile 135, down a coke and sit for a few minutes, watching the storm roll in.
We're lucky, with only a sprinkle from the storm as we continue on. In the final stretches back to Lincoln we form a train or two and work it.
|Working in the later stages of Gravel Worlds 2015|
That's QBP bikepacking specialist, Dave Markman flying the Salsa colors with our group above. Check out his Gravel Worlds experience. We've been at for +12hrs., but I still had some left in my legs and pull as much as I can.
This train pic is significant in that it garnered me a part time gig as a Fat Cyclist kit model. (I've yet to receive a job description from Elden, but I'm confident he'll get with me soon.)
We push on West through the rollers and eventually take that sweet left on North 1st St. (No worries, it's still very much a gravel road.) We're met by fellow racer Joe Stiller, just outside of town. Joe is cruising the course to cheer on his wife, Tina. She's fatbiking her way toward Lincoln.
As we hit the pavement of North Lincoln, I'm race stupid and struggle with the correct direction to turn. Jamie wings it and we quickly find ourselves at the finish line arch.
We roll across the mats at 13:24:44
Collin Little 11:20:55 - Well done brother!
|Collin pulling the train - Photo credit to Lisa Janssen|
Remember the Part 2 starting line excitement from Tim & Kristi Mohn? They went on to absolutely crush the field with a tandem top podium finish of 9:37:28 (20th OVERALL!) This E-Town duo is hardcore.
|Tim & Kristi Mohn, Crushing It!|
|Kristi Mohn and Yours Truly|
This guy. This is Neil Shirley, editor at Road Bike Action magazine. After an all day battle with 2014 DK200 winner Brian Jensen, Neil pulls away a couple of miles before the finish line. Crossing the mat at 7:54:03! That's r-i-g-h-t at a NINETEEN mph average. For 150 miles. Of gravel. Loose. Rolling. Windy. Gravel. Straight-Up UNICORN territory. Well done Neil!
|Neil Shirley- Gravel Worlds 2015 Winner|
Hungry for a challenge? Make your way to Lincoln, NE August 20, 2016. You'll get your fill.
Corey Godfrey, Pirate Cycling League, and Lincoln, NE. Thanks for the memories.