Team Alchemist had a great weekend in Fruita at the Desert R.A.T.S. race. A bunch of top podium spots. Ken defended his Men’s 30-39 title from last year. Ryn won the 30-39 women’s group. Jenn won the 40-49 women’s group. Becky took third in her first mountain bike race ever. Congrats Team Alchemist!
Ken’s race report:
Desert R.A.T.S. Report: Alchemist Train Chugs to Multiple Age Group Wins
The Team Alchemist effort at the Desert R.A.T.S. (Race Across The Sand) on May 12th started with a flat, but ended with multiple podium finishes. The out and back race is contested on the Kokopelli trail starting in Rabbit Valley, CO and turning around near the “Cisco Disco” in Cisco, UT. The course consists of mostly smooth double track with several rocky technical sections.
We got to the pre-race safety meeting 15 minutes before start and I realized my sidewall had a slice in it, and was bubbling out Stan’s. Since it was the only tire I had, I decided I needed to boot / duct tape the slice, and put in a tube. That was when the Alchemist Pit Crew (actually the other Alchemist racers) flung into action. How many people does it take to fix a flat? 6 – Chris Castilian, Stuart Walsworth, Jon Pulley, Becky Anderson, and Ryn Kreidl all took over and put everything back together, and rumor has it, Jenn Dice got a video of the teamwork. Luckily the race starter, delayed the start a few seconds, but once we got it inflated he said, “OK, we’ll start in 8 seconds” and we were off.
Chris Castilian led the Alchemist Train out of the blocks and put us comfortably in the 2nd group of 7 riders, with 5 other riders going off the front, and not seen again until the turnaround. After about 10 minutes, Chris told us his work as the locomotive engineer was done, and he settled in to a more comfortable pace. On the way out to Cisco, Disco Stu, JP, and I took turns pulling the train, but couldn’t drop the 2 stowaways. We made a quick turnaround in Cisco and had about a 10 second gap on the 2 other riders. We got into our 3-person paceline, pressed on the pedals a little extra, and were able to increase the gap to 1 minute quite quickly. We held the gap the rest of the race, and got that extra boost of energy from Deb Pulley (volunteering since she is recovering from surgery) and Tom Dice (out of the race after braking his chain multiple times) at the last aid station. Stuart was feeling frisky and kept the pace high through the last 2 climbs and Jon kept up nicely, while I struggled to keep up. They took a minute to enjoy the nice scenery, and allowed me to gather myself. We crossed the line together, and finished 6th, 7th, and 8th overall. Luckily for me, the 30s category was a little thin, so I won the 30s, while they came in 4th and 5th in the 40s. Chris kept the pedals moving after pulling us along at the start, and finished 22nd overall. They didn’t come home empty handed though, as they all won water bottles in the post-race raffle.
After the race Stuart said, “Jon Pulley has been closet training all year. He was super smooth in the sand. Way to crush JP!!!” Jon drew the stink-eye from Jenn last year after his famous Mountain Flyer quote about the course being well marked http://www.mountainflyermagazine.com/view.php/desert-rats-classic.html . He noted it was “perhaps not as well signed as last year!” as we all made several small wrong turns this year, including a nasty 2 MPH crash by Disco.
The ladies did not disappoint in their race as well. Jenn pushed the pace early, and Ryn pushed hard to keep up. They worked together and “girled” rider after rider. They quickly found themselves in the top half of the pack, and in 3rd place in the women’s race. Becky was competing in her first mountain bike race, so started at the back, but quickly found her rhythm and left many a slowpoke behind. On the last few climbs, Ryn started acting like a Walsworth and hammered up the hills. They finished together, placing 3rd and 4th in the women’s race, and each won their age category. Becky stayed steady the whole race and finished 3rd in her age group, and was already pointing out areas where she could have gone faster.
Ryn was proud of her effort after the race and mentioned, “the key to winning is picking your races well. Now I am no longer the only one in the Kreidl family without a 1st place finish!” Her sons, Max & Luke, have already engraved a few wins on their race resumes, including the Bolder Boulder, Longmont Kids Triathlon, CU Short Track, and the Pearl Street Mile.
The after party at the Stonehaven Inn was as good as the race with Castilian manning the grill. If you ever have any questions about Peanuts trivia, ask Stuart.
Ken, Tom, and Jon on the pre-ride
Ryn and Becky
The whole Alchemist gang at the RATS