Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Daimeon Shanks brought his special climbing attire.
His ankle socks decorated with clouds looked more like those of a child than a 25-year-old cy----c--list's, but the
white puffs sewn into the baby-blue cotton -- in a roundabout sort
of way -- had something to do with climbing.
Nicknamed "The Rock" because of his build, Shanks didn't win Wednesday's Buffalo Pass Hill Climb, but he finished 10th, which met his goal of finishing in the top 25.
"I'm a 'craptastic' climber," he said.
After ascending 11 miles and more than 3,600 feet, the pro/open, expert and sport riders probably felt like they had pedaled to the sky. The seventh Town Challenge Series race began at 5:30 p.m. under cloudy skies, but the rain held off, allowing a majority of the field to climb the entire length of the rutted, rocky road.
The rest of the field participated in the youth races or climbed from Dry Lake Campground to Buffalo Pass Road's conclusion.
"It's relentless," Karen Tre-
maine said about the course. "There's no let-up."
Tremaine was the top finisher in the women's expert division, and Wednesday's race was her first Buffalo Pass Hill Climb. Last year, she was dressed to race, but the low temperatures and rain gave her an excuse to stay home and watch a movie.
This year, she signed up, and although she was tired and sore from the climb, Tremaine had the opportunity to catch some of the most breathtaking views of the Yampa Valley.
"It was beautiful," she said.
Barkley Robinson likely did not have time to smell the wildflowers since it took him slightly more than an hour to climb the 11-mile course. Race director Gretchen Sehler had to stop her Volkswagon van once on the drive up to prevent it from overheating, providing some indication as to the length and steepness of Wednesday's climb.
"It's as rough as I've ever seen it," said Robinson about the course. He finished in a personal-best time of 1 hour, 1 minute and 51 seconds.
Mark Iverson was two minutes behind Robinson, but they were together for most of the lower half of the course.
"We sat back a ways, and then Mark and I attacked," Robinson said. "We worked together, trading off, breaking the wind. Up past Dry Lake, I accelerated a little bit. Once I had a gap, I tried to punch it and make him try to catch me."
Iverson acknowledged that he tried, but Robinson has been nearly impossible to beat this season. The professional cyclist said he hasn't raced out of town that much this summer so his legs are fresher for the Town Challenge series.
The Town Challenge Se----ries comes to a conclusion with the Mount Werner Valley View Circuit on Aug. 26. Racers should take note that it is a Friday race instead of a Wednesday race. The final race includes a post-race party and awards for season winners.