Mike "the Simonster" Simonson WINS AMBC race in Columbia Tennesse. The day before the official release date for Bells Brewery's famed OBERON ale, the Simonster had his own release party. The year of the Big Wheel has started with a Big Win for Mike. He sent in the below race report:
GREAT JOB MIKE !!!!!!!
The first race of the year is always a blind adventure. You can feel great,bad, or somewhere in between, but you never really know how your off seasontraining went until that first race. Well all those miles in the coldwinter of Michigan paid off, not to mention the 15 pounds of weight I trimmed off since November. The course was mostly single track, but surprisingly lacked anyextreme climbing you would think a course in TN would have. It had somegood power flats and was littered with tree roots and jagged rocksthroughout. The pace started fast right off the gun and my lungs instantly beganto burn. I made a strong move on the beginning flat grassy start andmanaged to be the first one into the down hill shoot before the singletrack. The first lap I rode mainly with the lead pack with a couple of attacks up the climbs to bring out the major players in the pack. About halfway through the race, it had gotten down to three of us. Andy Johnston,Brian Schworm and me. Andy was pouring on the attacks in the single track and all I could do was hold his wheel a few yards back and Brian was kindof yo-yoing off and on the back. Going into the final lap, I made another strong move on the flat grassy section and Andy and I put a good gap on Brian. I kept the pace up hard until Andy and I were out of sight. Then I put it into cruise control for a good portion of the single track. Then Andy got by me and made an attack on the big climb about 2 miles from the finish. As soon as I noticed he was slowing down, I came around him and pulled the chain up to the big ring and opened up about a 20 second gap. I finished out the race from there and grabbed the first win of the season for the Bells Brewery / Quiring team. The 29er wheels coupled with the Ti frame helped out immensely on the rocky and root infested terrain. Rather than absorb the bumps like a fullsuspension bike, it rolls over them easier and slows me down less. I feel the bigger wheels compliment my riding style.