The start was cold and windy, temps were probably in the high 30's. There were several familiar faces at the start. Had a chance to chat with Mark Skarpohl, a former teammate and long time road stud here in MN. We rolled out and Pieper was soon in trouble stopping to throw up within the first ten miles. The theme would continue for him all day. Some kind of bug that is apparently going around.
We made it to Preston in pretty good time and fueled up for the next leg. The climb out of Preston and the never ending wind made the going tough. Pieper continued to feel under the weather but bravely chose to march on. There were several climbs that I did not remember. It was a different than the 90deg+ day in May.
Top of Jay Rd climb:
We pushed on and stopped to refill at our drop spot. A bit later we stopped again at the Almanzo tent and were able to chat with Almanzo himself. (+ me with a mouthful of cookies)
Mile 75 saw us hit the busy city of Cherry Grove. After 6.5 hours the wheels on the Pieper bus fell off. He hands down won the hardman award of the day. After making sure he had adequate provisions, we developed a plan of riding back on the gravel/road the 15 miles to Spring Valley. We would then come back for him(this was a gentleman's ride after all). The wind had picked up and was in our face all the way to SV. I was short of breath most of the way back, partly due to trading monster pulls with Sam F and partly from laughing at Rosane. We agreed to ride into town in the "missing man" formation and give our fallen comrade the honorary town sign sprint.
It was unfortunate that one of us fell ill, but I still had a great time riding (I hope the others did as well). Thanks to my team for a good ride. Congrats to Pieper for toughing it out as long as he did. I would have turned back right away.
Sunday we went to Eau Claire to see some good friends. Z-Flo did a kid's tri. A good time was had by all.
Later this week I will have a guest poster. A-No will share his ride report from the weekend.