While viewing the Iceman from behind the handlebars is a worthy endeavor, we went trail side this year and hit the ground deep into the woods between Kalkaska and Traverse City to view the thousands of racers that compete. My main objective was to figure out the forest back roads for future years, and finally view the lead professionals come through. We set up on a long sweeping corner west of the Sand Lake Quiet Area, but still east of Williamsburg road. The age groupers were exciting to see, and we were impressed at the number of racers who thanked us. All we were doing was brewing espresso with the pocket rocket and enjoying a few beverages. After seeing most of the age groupers go through, we waited out the pro field. With cold feet and happy thoughts, we heard word from our new favorite road crossing volunteers that the pros were witnessed two crossing from us. I estimated they would arrive in about 7 minutes. All of the waiting, setup and prep ended in 30 seconds as the first two groups blew by. We knew making it to the finish would be close, so we jumped in the car and started flying down the back dirt trails (at a completely safe and legal speed) to make it to Timber Ridge. We made it in time to see the leaders coming up the wood chip hill:
1) Geoff Kabush,
2) Sam Schultz,
3) Mike Anderson,
and at sixth was Jordan Wakeley.
More men continued through; out of nowhere Georgia Gould flew up the wood chip climb with an awe shocking smile on her face . . . I truly think she was enjoying it. With the form Gould has been on, it was not surprising to see an enormous gap on 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. Coming up 2nd female was local Makenzie Woodring, closely marked by Emily Batty and Heather Irmiger. Upon returning to the finish, we learned that Gould won and that Batty and Irmiger over took Woodring in the closing sections to round out the podium.
Given that we didn't get to interview or see the final moves, it's only appropriate to read VeloNews' recap.