Joberon and Jason Lummis meet up for the ride over to GR for the Pando XC race. It was an excellent day with great temps for a short lap Ski hill race. The Elite class did 7 laps and averaged around 16.5 minutes per lap. The start of each lap had a 125' climb up the hill with the finish a top the hill.
Pando What an excellent race venue. I couldn't remember if I had raced there before. Jason and I decided Saturday we'd head out Sunday morning for some new trail action. Upon arrival I noticed a couple of familiar things, the cool little lodge and a ski hill start baby! Even after a warm up lap the only thing I could recall was the ski hill start. I believe the only other time I had been there the course set up was quite different. Not to mention it was a downpour. Not a huge Elite field but enough guns to make things interesting. With Dan Jansen(Niner) and Nate Versluis(Founders) running dinner plate sized gearing(only 1 for the Nate-man) I knew 7 challenging laps were ahead of me. GO! We were off and headed immediately up the ski hill. So cool! Crested the top and eventually made a left into the first bit of single track. I was happy to be up in the top 3. Out of the single track, down a hill, up a hill, more single track, more climbing...more climbing. There goes Nate running by me on a steep loose uphill. More fun single track, some fast open two track and, of course, more climbing. I did my best to hang with Nate and Dan. They have that place dialed and they were all business. Eventually it was just the 3 of us and I kept having to bridge after the single track. On lap 5 they started yo yo-ing me and each time they'd wick up the pace. Going into lap 6 they were cresting the ski hill and I was at the bottom. Not good. I spent lap 6 trying to regain my composure and just turn over a decent lap. The final lap went better as my legs and lungs were cooperating. I put my head down and started the chase. I saw Nate once or twice through the woods but no Dan. With a couple miles to go on an open section I shifted into a dinner plate gear and picked up the pace. Suddenly I spotted Nate sidelined sipping a beer. Kidding. His chain fell off. He must have mis-shifted or something. I kept the pace up as the blonde afro'd man yelled "Joberonnnnn". I was scared for my life. Through more single track and back onto some open two track and up the ski hill for the final time. Yup, a "mountain top" finish at Pando. I shifted into every gear searching for the something to keep the raging beer bikin' man at a safe distance. In the end I crossed just in front of "The Farmer" for 2nd place. Super Dan Jansen had a great ride and took the win. Another great day of racing and weather. By the way, I did eventually see Nate sipping a beer. I would like to dedicate my race to the family and friends of Joey Guckian. My thoughts and Prayers are with you. Joey was killed in a motorcycle accident last Thursday. Joey, I'm down here pedalin' hard for ya buddy! Thanks for reading,Joe
Joe and I arrived at Pando with plenty of time to register and pre ride the course. We both commented on how slow we felt on the pre ride. The start was straight up the 125' ski slope and with locals Dan Jansen and Nate "the Farmer" Versluis pounding the pace for the start, We headed into the 7 laps full on. Joe and I where sitting in 3rd and 4th Place with the Gietz and Kyle Stange attached as well. Some where in the 1st 2 laps we lost Kyle. The Gietz and I where finding it hard to stay with the other 3 and we faded out. Joberon kept hanging on for another lap or 2. After the 3rd lap I would see the 3 ahead on a few spots that helped keep me motivated to keep pushing. I was not spinning my way around this hilly course, I just mashed every hill
. Hoping my legs would loosen up a little. I lost count around 4 laps and had to ask everytime up the ski hill how many where left, finally someone said last lap...... Day over 4th place and a few bucks for gas $$. The course was fast and fun!
Next race Stoner Crik CX, I heard Joberon found a half barrel of Oberon for the race !