Ore to Shore
I just typed up this entire race report, and it was deleted by wix, so here is shorter round two!
I last raced Ore to Shore in 2018, when I broke my chain eight miles in and was taken out of contention. I was back for another try and had my sights set on a much better result. My sister Emma and I arrived to Marquette, Michigan Friday afternoon and I headed out to pre-ride with Brian Matter and Ben Senkerik.Then we headed to our friend Jill and Paul's house where my dad, sister and I were staying.
The next morning I drove over to Negaunee for the 10am start. Things were fast and hectic as usual on the pavements and settled down as we hit the dirt. We hit Lucy Hill about four miles in and I moved into the top three to ensure good positioning as the group narrowed down. All was on track, but I took a hard spill in a muddy section around mile eight that left me bruised and scraped up but more or less in fine condition.
The pace was hard and there were plenty of attacks for the next 45 minutes, but no one gained or lost much ground. At mile 20 we approached "Misery Hill" which a un-rideable section that requires you to walk/run your bike. I went to the front and attacked, running up the steep climb. Our group broke apart quite a bit and I spent some time off the front alone for about ten minutes. Eventually we regrouped and rolled on uneventfully until mile 27. On "510 bridge" I had a bit of a disaster. In a freak accident I went down while trying to take a water bottle feed directly onto the pavement at 20 miles per hour. I jumped right back up with no issues other than a broken boa on my shoe, some road rash, and a substantial amount of anger.
I caught back onto the group and completely reset my mental state. I let go of the anger, pain and annoyance, and reminded my self that I still wanted to win this bike race. About 6 miles later the deciding event of the race occurred. My teammate Daxton and I got away on a fast, narrow descent and started working together to make our break stick.
We traded pulls for the next 15 miles and took it all the way to the line for an exciting sprint finish as shown below.
It was pretty dang special to go to the line with Dax, who is a great friend and teammate of mine. Our friend, coach and mentor Brian Matter took third which made it even better!
All in all it was a treat to be back racing in the Midwest. Winning Ore to Shore has been a goal of mine for years and I am thrilled to have put the pieces together even after some back luck and mishaps. See you next year Marqutte