Zach Guy dominates Durango Dirty Century endurance race
Written by Than Acuff
Wednesday, 11 July 2012
Sets new course record
Team Alpine Orthopaedics athlete Zach Guy just checked off another win on the Colorado Endurance Series mountain bike racing circuit last weekend, riding away with the Durango Dirty Century title on Saturday, July 7 and setting a new course record in the process.
The Durango Dirty Century race links some of the best singletrack in the Durango area into a single, 100-mile long crushing.
It was Guy’s first foray into the realm of the Dirty Century but certainly not his first rodeo on the trails that the course followed. Guy rode in the multi-day bike-packing Colorado Trail Race (CTR) the past two years and the final section of the CTR is very similar to the Dirty Century course.
The only difference is Guy had to walk most of the final CTR course with a major mechanical his first time. His second time in the CTR he rode the final section in the dark, weary from four days straight of riding.
“I know it very well,” says Guy of the course. “I’ve ridden most of the loop and it was fun to be able to ride it fast.”
After a 10-mile neutral start up a road, the course turned onto Hermosa Creek. As a lead pack of 15-20 riders took off up the trail, Guy settled into a steady pace.
“At the Wildflower 40 I went out really fast to avoid the dust from the other riders and I got burned so I went with an opposite strategy this time,” explains Guy. “I pedaled slow and kept a steady pace.”
The strategy paid off 30 miles into the race as Guy started picking off the lead pack, making up a lot of time bombing the downhill sections. By mile 50 at Blackhawk Pass, Guy had reeled in the leader and 2010 winner Kip Biese and the two rode together for a while. Then the rain came and while Guy and Biese were spared the deluge, several riders got pounded by Blackhawk Pass, forcing a number of racers to drop out.
“We missed it by about 10 minutes,” says Guy.
By mile 70, Biese was slowing down and Guy decided it was time to move.
“He was going slower than I wanted to and I ended up riding the last 30 miles by myself,” says Guy.
When Guy came upon the final exposed portion of the course on the Indian Ridge Trail, the weather had subsided temporarily.
“I got there and the clouds cleared up and it was near perfect riding,” says Guy.
Following the Indian Ridge Trail, Guy took a look back and couldn’t see anyone behind him so he eased off the throttle a bit to avoid any major mechanicals and crossed the finish line 10 hours and 35 minutes later.
Guy managed to avoid any major bike issues the entire race, with just a few knocks here and there.
“I broke two spokes but that didn’t really slow me down,” says Guy. “I bent my rear derailleur on a log or something also, so I couldn’t use my two lowest gears but that just made me go faster.”
Guy now has a list of endurance races to choose from, including the Rico Classic, the CT Jamboree as well as the CB Classic in the coming months and will pick and choose his way through the rest of the racing season.
“I’ll play it by ear and see how it goes,” says Guy. “The 100-milers kind of wear you out.”