Race Report | Koppenburg, Wheels of Thunder, & Superior Morgul

It has been a while since we checked in. We had some wind taken out of our sails after the Federal Center Race. Our driving force and leader Ben Hildebrandt went down and out with broken wrists and a scarred mental state. He is already back on the bike though indoors and we hope to see him climbing Deer Creek soon.

Chris Hill Start of the Koppenburg SM5 Race

Chris Hill Start of the Koppenburg SM5 Race

Koppenburg

Koppenburg is an early season road race in Colorado that mirrors some of the spring classics over in Europe. The name of the race is borrowed from the section of cobles in the Tour of Flanders that often times brings riders to a stand still and forces some off their bikes.

David Nelson

David Nelson

The course is a 5.5 mile circuit with about 2 miles of dirt. The highlight of the event though is the dirt climb shown in this video. The mud and gradient are enough to bring riders to a stand still and running up the hill becomes standard practice.

Our riders put in a good effort in this event. Chris Hill finished 9th in the SM5 division, David Nelson finished 18th in the SM4 division, and David Altschuld did not finish in the MM 40+ 4 division after coning down with a bug.. It is truly an accomplishment to brave the elements and course in this event. We are proud of our riders.

Chris Hill

Chris Hill

Wheels of Thunder

Wheels of Thunder is typically a fast crit with smooth pavement. A nice early season race late enough in the year that the weather should be warm and enjoyable for a bike race. This year mother nature had other plans. The skies darkened and the wind whipped up. Rain sprinkled down on the course making things a little interesting. The smooth corners turned treacherous and the splashback drenched you to the bone (I am being overly dramatic).

Devin Rhinehart Wheels of Thunder

Devin Rhinehart Wheels of Thunder

It was cold and wet though, which deterred a few racers, but somehow the SM4 group still mustered the courage to bring 46 riders to the start line. That just goes to show the competitiveness of this group. Nothing is going to stop some of these guys from getting out there to race. I had a decent race staying towards the front and doing some work to bring back some early breaks, but soon realized why it is better to conserve your energy. The last lap I found myslef drifting backwards through the group in slow motion as they charged up the hill on the course. I eventually popped and managed to hang on to a 28th place finish. The video below shows a lap of the course in the bright sunshine. Wouldn’t that be nice.

Superior Morgul

The Morgul race series is a Colorado classic. The Wall is the finishing climb for the road race on Sunday and has roots that date back to the 1970s Red Zinger Classic and the 1980s Coors Classic. The movie American Flyers with Kevin Costner features the climb up the Wall. Check out the highlights from this movie below and find a way to watch it if you have never seen it.

Chris Hill put in a solid effort for both the circuit race Saturday and the road race Sunday. He finished both races in 13th place in the SM5 group. His results are improving every race. Dan Kaskubar broke into the top ten in the SM5 group with a solid 9th place finish in the SM5 group. He was able to make the early break and hold on to a solid finish in that race. We are proud of what these guys have done for the team. We hope now that summer is officially here (hopefully) we can get some more of the guys on the squad out there to enjoy the race season.

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