Yankee Time Trial

Even though it is still early spring, everyone seems to be in mid-season form with the unbelievable warm weather we have been having.  Having the chance to pre-ride the course several times leading up to the race, I knew the course would be fast but I wasn’t really prepared for how fast the times would be.  Yankee Springs in notorious for being like the wild west with a lot of roots, loose rocks and SAND.  However, the cool temps and wet weather a few days before the race seemed to make the course feel like carpet.

My start time was 10 seconds behind teammate and close friend Gabe Niehof.  Gabe is a super-strong single speeder and my plan was to try and catch him and do all I could to hold his wheel for as long as possible.  It’s funny how the more races I do, the less nervous I get.  When the starter said, “Go!”, my breathing was easy and my legs felt good.  I went off harder than expected because the whole time I could see Gabe up ahead.  The first few miles up to the guard rail flew by.  When I finally caught up to Gabe, we were stuck behind a few people.  He would say, “Passing on left!” and I would shout out, “One more”.  It was awesome to have a teammate by my side who I could trust in and out of corners.  However, after the pine section, Gabe lost his chain and I had to let him go.  My legs felt great and I used the racers in front of me as rabbits and simply tried to catch one, ride their wheel for a short time and then pass.  This happened throughout the first lap.  Upon finishing the first lap, I couldn’t believe my time – under 48 minutes.  I started to panic a bit as I have never ridden the course that fast.  I put down a few Gu’s and settled in for the second lap.  This lap was a bit different as I didn’t have anyone to chase or ride with.  It’s easy to get a little complacent or let off the pedals when you’re going through the woods alone.  However, I tried to ride consistently and ended up coming through the shoots at 1:36:13, which was good enough for first place in Expert 29 and Under.

A huge thank you goes to the volunteers for setting up this race.  A record number of racers turned out and they ended up getting treated to a first class race.  Our own team rider, Dennis Murphy did an amazing job with the fine details of this race.  A big thanks also goes out to Nancy Curtis, Tim Curtis, Martin Hall, Cathy Plite and Tricia Anderson who helped throughout the morning.

Although Gabe and Danielle ended up having to walk out with mechanicals, a good time was had by all as we enjoyed some great food and beverages at our new Founders team tent afterwards.  Next up, Fort Custer!!  This is sure to be an awesome race with a  bit more cross-country strategy involved.  It seems as though our team is dialed and will continue to represent our sponsors well with podium finishes.

First Place!


Founders Alger Finishing Times:

Earl Hillaker   1:32:28

Jeremy Karel   1:36:13

Jeff Jacobi   1:37:54

Scott Tencate   1:41:03

Matt Remelts   1:41:24

Scott Thenikl   1:47:48

Shawn Crowley   1:49:33

Ralf Scharnowski   1:50:32

Rick Plite   1:51:23

Paul Popielarz   1:55:19

Marnie Tencate 1:58:35

Brad Bacon   54:32

Ernie Stafford   56:47