Submitted by Jeff Potter on June 28, 2010 - 8:09am
...Our steadfast Lanterne Rouge.
It's not easy being out there when you're two states behind the leaders. Whups, correct that: he's now only one state behind!
Remember, he'll be on the trail for far longer than the faster riders.
Patrick is a rookie. He must be encountering a lot that's new.
The faithfulness of the final rider is worth a lot -- so keep your eye on him!
It doesn't look like he's called in yet... I wonder how it's going for him. Superfan Todd Ison visited with Patrick earlier (and took pics) and said he looked good. If anyone has more bio info or more recent news or sightings, please let us know!
Submitted by Jeff Potter on June 28, 2010 - 7:57am
This info has been posted already, but I thought I'd pop it up front.
It might just be me, but another dose of backgrounding has been a helpful supplement to the "live" reports during this seemingly quieter time for the race. We've all been through some challenges -- racers and spectators alike. (Yes, racers aren't the only ones provoked, inspired ... changed ... by a race like this.)
Last year my eye was attracted by the cluster of 8 riders who closed in on the finish well after the leaders had reached the end. Sure enough, there WAS an interesting story there, of life riding in what writer/racer Steve Wilkinson called the "peloton." Here's a link to his report on last year's TD: http://www.bikepacking.net/multiday-race-reports/the-story-of-eight-tour.... It has particularly good storytelling on what's coming up for many racers in the final week of their adventure crossing NM. (The Snack-Shack and the Toaster House were news to me and are big uplifts as the peloton closes in on the finish.)
Some more good ground covered by the racers in the past couple of days, and the first reports – from Matthew Lee, Erik Lobeck and Aidan Harding – about the re-route. ‘Hilly and difficult to get a rhythm,’ says Matthew; ‘scary drivers’ says Erik; ‘10 miles of headwind but gas stations for resupplies’ says Aidan.
Sufficient ground has been covered, in fact, that Matthew could be finished today, depending on how hard he wants to push for this last bit. In fact, as I write – nearly midday UK time – he appears to have started moving already; at least, his SPOT is ‘on’. He’s got (I think) until 9.37am New Mexico time tomorrow morning to register the fastest ever TD finish, which seems likely (in spite of the punishing next few hours through the Gila south of Beaverhead) though whether it will be classed as a record or not I don’t know, due to the re-route.
A fine performance nonetheless, made all the more impressive by the fact he had his bike stolen in Grants, only for Matthew to phone home and have someone locate it via his SPOT (which was on his bike) so he could retrieve it. Who needs Columbo? Our experience last year of Grants being about the only place on the route to have a bad vibe to it – we encountered a guy scamming bank details outside the Wal-Mart last year – seems to be justified.
Blaine and Erik have stopped together to enjoy the unique charm of Pie Town and are also on for very fast finishes. Aidan continues to eat up the miles, though says he has given up on hopes of the singlespeed record set last year by Chris Plesko. He won’t be far off, however.
Eric Nelson and Forest Baker have also made it into New Mexico, while everyone else is now in Colorado, which suggests the pace of the whole race is greater this year compared to 2009. Patrick Tsai should benefit from the hospitality of Brush Mountain Lodge soon (if he hasn’t already).
Submitted by Kevin Montgomery on June 27, 2010 - 9:40pm
MTBCast: The Mountain Turtle, Kent Peterson, sends an inspirational message, a couple of reports on the re-route, and Matthew Lee has his bike stolen but thanks to Spot and Trackleaders he recovers it in under an hour!
The MP3 cast is here!
Though please use the RSS link or iTunes!