Mount Tam Double Century Report #1
— Marc Moons
The Mount Tam Double Century was run on August 2. As of now, we have yet to see final results posted, but we do have a couple of very good reports from near the front of the field, beginning with this one from Marc Moons...
"Get the fuck out of here!", yells starter with French accent. Off we go chasing CHP on flashing motorbike. Dark Lucas Valley Road flooded by white and red lights. Last event of CTC Stage Race, so cream of doubles are present: top 3 Joel Sothern, Carl Sanders and Max Mehech, 4-legged Paul McKenzie & Paul Chuck, joined by 300 more.
Guy decked out in Levi GF kit takes off on Lucas Valley climb, we catch him downhill. Same go-&-catch game on climbs towards Fairfax ... GF dude too much coffee this morning?!
At base of Mt Tam, a group of 25 survivors. GF dude hits eject button again! I decide to make jump. Like Chris Froome, he spins at insane high rpm up Mt Tam, barely can hold his wheel. Joel joins the party. While GF dude stops at first rest stop. Joel & I keep going.
Joel is a stud who crushes everyone from the start not to be seen anymore. On lush climb from Alpine Dam to crest, he sets pace, like pit bull, I put teeth in his rear wheel.
At Ridgecrest, sun rays break dense fog. Ocean below blanked by puffy clouds ... skin cooled by damp morning air ... heavenly!
Just before Mt Tam top, GF dude makes it 3 in front. Check in and down we go. Noticed on steep downhills near top that both Joel & GF dude are a bit shaky. 13 miles of fast downhill to Hwy 1, my time to get them out of their comfort zone! Give gravity a few strong legs, bomb down damp foggy pavement. Turn on Hwy 1. Two others out of sight, keep pace steady and let them burn some coffee to catch.
Stinson Beach, GF dude passes me without a look and starts pulling like a freak. Every climb towards Pt Reyes Station he accelerates, and I dig deep to hold that wheel. During one man show along Hwy 1, noticed GF dude is traveling light: one tiny bottle of fluid and flask of gel. So he needs every pit stop for refuel, he's going to pay cash for that!
Pt Reyes Station, he turns into rest stop, I turn towards Petaluma. A 20+ mph pace will keep pressure on pot sans overcooking it, meanwhile others can slowly catch me. Plan works perfectly: near Petaluma, train of usual suspects catch me.
Between Petaluma and Valley Ford, front group shrinks with every climb. 5 left at Valley Ford, GF dude, Max, Carl, Glenn, me. While others need refuel, I pick Max's wheel, who doesn't stop. On Bay Hill Max can't keep pace, so back off ... no need for solo adventure.
Coleman Valley climb. GF dude does it again catches, passes me ... and sprints for KOM. Not interested in Polka Dot jersey so let him go. Another guy passes me and says "hi". I greet and look at him. Black & blue Sky team jersey, that's bloody Chris Froome ... how cool is that! Not interested in Yellow jersey so let him go.
At Coleman Valley rest stop, excited, I tell a volunteer "hey man, that dude who passed in black & blue ... that's Chris Froome!" He replies with a who's that look: "well he didn't stop and tell us his number so he will be DQed" .... funny.
After Coleman Valley, GF dude is fading slowly. Sits in my wheel and doesn't kill it at climbs. Pull him into Valley Ford rest stop. He comes to me: "Hi, I'm Scott, you're riding strong man… sorry I couldn't share a pull" ... funny: that guy grilled me all morning!
At Middle-Dillon Beach T, CHP is holding traffic and makes fun of angry cars who need to wait for spandex on wheels .... like it!
Scott knows that Marshall is last big obstacle towards finish, so he hits me with all ammo left ... I'm digging trenches again. Remember words of former running coach: "in the end when everyone is fatigued, it turns into a mental game. That's when you attack!" Last steep pitch to top of Marshall I attack ... Scott hangs in ropes. Keep throwing punches at him. Scott throws in towel at final rest stop in Nicasio.
Quick look a time, only past 3 pm! Course record is 10:50, set by friend and ex-pro Steven Cozza (he did it solo from start-finish!). Look at legs: "can we do it?". Punch Lucas Valley climb, ignore "slow down" signs on top, fly down and TT to finish like Tony Martin. Clock ticks so fast, legs are screaming and mind shouting go faster! At Vallecito Elementary, clock freezes at 10:44.
Lucky me that Chris Froome DQed.
P.S. Congrats to fellow SRCC member Carl Sanders on 2nd overall in CTC Stage Race!