Someone shut the oven. Roasting temperatures and a whipping wind made the 2012 edition of Le Tour de Mount Pleasant an exceptionally tough test and one heckuva wild ride.
The heat of the weekend continued into Sunday, with the mercury tipping up over 90 degrees on the pavement. For Michiganders in June, those are desert-like numbers. And with most of the racers having two hard days of high speed miles already in the legs, fatigue and self-destruction became rather common.
Unfortunately, ‘crash’ was the hip word on the lips today, with multiple pile-ups across the different races. Riders still waiting on the start line sighed when the race official announced a bad crash in the Pro/1/2 category forced a neutralization of that race, with a rolling restart coming a few minutes later. The crashes kept coming, with dingers affecting the results of both CAT 5 races, the CAT 4s, and nearly all of the women’s races, according to the official at the line. The CAT 4’s crash was held back until the final 100 meters. After numerous close calls out on course, it finally happened; at about 37 miles per hour, “somebody did something and hit somebody else” (always the case, eh?), sending eight riders skidding across the asphalt and essentially tearing off the back of the lead group.
The wind combined with the heat to wreak havoc on the fields today, chopping off bits of groups left hanging out in the wind. Using the gutter to line out the field was the tactic of the day, and the roads of Isabella County looked a bit like the Belgian Classics, save the sweltering heat and John Deere tractors.
Results will be slipping in shortly, and if you have any info, please toss it up on the Facebook page. An enthusiastic hats off to Einstein Racing’s Ryan Kennedy for taking the CAT 5 35+ win in what will surely be his last CAT 5 effort after taking the victory last week at West Branch as well. The ‘ten races’ rule USA Cycling has been voicing is bologna*: this guy is the real deal, like Peter Sagan or something.
For now, oogle the numbers from the CAT 4 field via Strava. Results up from USA Cycling as soon as humanly possible.
*That’s how you really spell it.