In a move to satisfy the multitudes of bike shop employees and folks with kids’ soccer games to attend Saturdays, the Shootout is moving over to Sunday.
In an effort to make the ride possible for the folks working retail, the Shootout now departs 24 hours later than usual. Now leaving Darrow Park at 7am quite sharply for a jaunt through beautiful Leelanau County. Some of the fastest men in the state meet up for a route that previews the 2012 Cherry-Roubaix course and it’s multiple ascents. The ride takes in the tough Kasson Climb before heading north to hit the intersection atop Narlock, which means a fast trip up Sugar Loaf Road, north again to Schomberg and the new Dufek Road summit. The new climb, added to rub copious amounts of salt into non-climbers’ wounds at the State Road Race this year, is worth a preview or two. While a long distance from the finish and with both Narlock and Sugar Loaf left to climb before a lap is finished, Dufek has been dubbed “Le Col des Hommes de Fer”, or The Mountain of The Iron Men. It’s 1.35 miles and just over 200 feet, but winds and nips through shadows and winds into a furious descent and a long flat section south. It’s one of the climbs long enough to open up huge gaps with no chance to catch back up before a series of descents and the fast run-up into Narlock.
Join some of the best riders in the area from Einstein Racing, Hagerty Cycling, and a host of other top squads for the hardest ride you’ll do all week. It’s a route of 60 miles with over 3,000 feet of climbing and you will be done before ten. If you’re lucky, that is.