Stop #2 on the Granny Gear National Points Series brought me back to 9 Mile State Forest in Wausau, WI. Looking back at what had happened last year, I wasn't looking forward to this one. It was bound to be a long day in the hurt locker. The course is tons of fun, but mostly flat which means that there are no breaks at all. To move forward you must pedal, and coasting is limited. After winning the first race at Big Bear I was motivated enough to go out and give it my all. On Thursday I packed everything up and spent 16 hours in the car driving to WI with Jocelyn and my parents. We rolled into the hotel late that night and immediately went to bed. Friday called for an easy pre-ride of the course which was done on a 2010 Scalpel (lighter, faster, better) which I would also pilot for a few laps during the race. After the pre-ride I went out with Jocelyn and showed her around on some singletrack for the first time and then finished the ride on some access roads as we looked for good photo ops with my Dad. After that was dinner time and bed for a good nights rest.
The morning of the race, I was nervous as usual and couldn't wait to get this whole thing started. I repeated my start from Big Bear with a good run and was the first solo on the bike. Hitting the first couple of laps pretty hard, I found myself at the front, but with local Ben Koenig right behind. Not knowing much about Ben beforehand left me with some uncertainties. Throughout the day laps I kept my pace steady and brisk, but could not put more than a minute on Ben during any given lap and he was always in sight. I began to prepare myself for a hard fought race to the end. Once the sun set and the night set in I picked up my efforts slightly and began to gain some time on Ben and the rest of the solo field. The night went by quick as I switched from my Scalpel to my 29'er and let my Lupine Betty lead the way. Each lap I would gain a few minutes which added up to a half hour advantage by sunrise. As the sun came up I returned back to my Scalpel and picked up the pace once again in a final effort to seal in the win. By 10:30 a.m. I gained another 20 minutes on Ben and reassured myself the top spot on the podium and a comfortable lead in the Granny Gear Series over Bob Anderson, who placed 3rd for the day. This win did not come easy at all as the pressure was on the entire race. One bad lap and the race could have been lost. Congrats to all who suffered this one out for the full 24 hours. This course is not an easy one to push through. And as always thanks to Jocelyn and my parents for their support. These races couldn't be done without you! Only one more 24 this year and I already cannot wait.