The Koppenberg was yet again affected by a spring snowstorm after the course was covered by almost a foot of snow on Tuesday before the race. Fortunately for us, the sun poked through and thoroughly melted the annoying white stuff and managed to completely dry out the course. However, this did not prevent the promoters or town of Superior from grading the road...
What was previously nice and hard-packed, turned into loose gravel. The grading turned large rocks that had been previously smashed into the dirt by large off-road vehicles, into large obstacles to be avoided by our skinny road tires. Needless to say, the course conditions prevented many from racing on Sunday.
Despite the poor road conditions, Brian Firle and Will Campbell managed to tough it out. The two stuck with the lead pack going up the climb for the first time. Meanwhile, the main field was being plagued by flat tires as rider after rider pulled off to the side in hopes of being able to make a quick wheel change. Without a follow vehicle behind however, things usually ended badly for these riders and they usually limped home. Going into the second dirt section, both Brian and Will were firmly planted in the pack and looking good. Unfortunately Will managed to hit a sharp rock somewhere along the route and slowly started losing pressure in his rear tire. He tried to make it back to the start line but ultimately had to pull over at the top of Marshall in order to fix his wheel. By the time he got back on his bike, the field had over 4 minutes on him and he decided to call it a day. $40 well spent.
Brian, however was a bit luckier. He kept it cool and hung out in the main field through the first half of the race. On the fifth of eight laps, Brian's luck ran out and he too flatted. Nevertheless our stoic rider fixed his tire, jumped back into a chase group and managed to finish 16th.
Well done Brian!
Check back soon as we continue to get more into the racing season.