Team Gates Carbon Drive made their presence known on both sides of the Continental Divide in Colorado this weekend. Mitch Westall took a hard-fought 5th at the Teva Mountain Games in Vail, while Tim Lucking found himself on the podium at Battle the Bear in Morrison.
There were no shortage of heavy-hitters lined-up at the start of the Teva Mountain Games Single Speed race in Vail; including Gates Carbon Drive own Mitch Westall. Mitch had a strong race, battling from the gun with the other riders, and using his strength on the numerous climbs on the course. However Mitch admitted he was probably a bit off with his gearing selection, which cost him some time in certain sections of the course. But trust me, once he sorts out the right gearing, Mitch will be a factor in any mountain bike race!
The following day on the other side of the Divide, I was lining up with teammates Tim Lucking and Garrett Davis for Battle the Bear; stage three of the Rocky Mountain Endurance Series. Nearly 100-degree temps and a dry breeze saw the riders off at the start of the 30 mile half-marathon single speed race. And while not a very technical course, the day was about pounding out a fast tempo and keeping a consistent pace. I used my experience from cyclocross racing to start hard on the first power-climb right from the start. I was happy to stretch out the field and shed a couple riders, keeping the pace high while Garrett and Tim were able to sit comfortably right behind me. Unfortunately, I tried to take a wrong turn, catching Garrett out! Tim was able to control the pace and wait for us to rejoin, but the effort of chasing on forced both myself and Garrett off when the first attacks came.
That left Tim and Garrett chasing hard together, going into the middle of the race, while I struggled with pacing on the relatively flat course. This 30-mile race though, was just a sprint event for big diesel Tim, and he was only getting faster by the end of the race and finished a strong third place, just seconds behind second place. Garrett battled strong for 5th, while I settled for 8th. Not a bad result for some first races of the year, and I know everyone on the team is looking forward to perfecting our race days, so they run as incredibly smooth and trouble-free as our favorite Gates Carbon Drive CDX drivetrains!