This past weekend, Team Waste Management presented by Hammer Nutrition decided to race the eleventh annual 24 hours of Old Pueblo. Usually the team jumpstarts the season by diving straight into the fast and furious southwest road scene, however this year the self proclaimed “Lost Boys” decided to start our season by doing things a little bit different. So we headed to the desert to shred our mountain bikes in the Old Pueblo.
The weather was spectacular, perfect sunny skies and absolutely gorgeous desert riding conditions. I have to tell you, 24 hour races are a bit of a shock to the system for a couple of roadies. As I stood watching the sun rise Saturday morning I couldn’t help but be amazed by the hundreds of motor homes, tents, and bikes strewn about the desert floor.
Twelve noon (when the race starts) was upon us quickly, and of course I (Ben Bradshaw) was the sucker who was chosen to do the first lap, and the ridiculous Le Mans start that it begins with. The start of the race is a hectic affair, and as the gun went off 600 cyclists in carbon soled shoes charged for their bikes. The run was miserable, but as soon as I got on my bike I started to get my wind back. I got in a rhythm and started to pick guys off. The desert course was fast, but definitely required caution, as any overshot turn would result in a cholla to the backside. My first lap was decent but not spectacular, I came in 6th overall. As I tagged Stevie Cullinan in for our second lap, I knew it was going to be a fast time. I wasn’t wrong. Stevie crushed the lap and brought us into the lead with the fastest lap by far.
Lap after lap we slowly began to extend our lead. In between laps we would pound all of our Hammer Products to replenish the glycogen we had lost during the laps, which was extremely important in a race as long as this. Our race was looking good as we headed into the early morning hours, but unfortunately luck began to turn against us. At around three in the morning, I began to have… issues, and eventually I had to refund a bowl of chicken soup during a lap (should have stuck with the Recoverite). Needless to say my lap time was not quite up to speed after my little pit stop.
Even though food poisoning prematurely ended my race, my teammates rallied to keep us in second throughout the rest of the race. Stevie, Ron Jensen, and Cory Steinbrecher all pulled extra laps to hold on to our podium spot. Looking back it was quite the weekend. I definitely could see us doing another 24 hour race, and perhaps this time our luck will hold out for the win.
A couple people we would like to thank for making or weekend possible- Hammer Nutrition for keeping us fueled in one of the most grueling endurance events in the world, The Bitty Bitty Cycling Team who provided us with food, lodging, and Bitty Fuel, and of course none other than Steve Cullinan and Brian Smith who manage our team and keeps us set in all departments… Until Next time,
Team Waste Management/Hammer Nutrition