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August 27/99 5:50 am - The Shep Report

Posted by Editoress on 08/27/99

Letter to the Mercury Tour Race Organizer

Len Pettyjohn
Tour Organizer
25 Enjoy the easy race way
Steamboat Springs, CO

August 27th, 1999

Subject: Why so much agony?

Dear Mr Pettyjohn,

To you I owe the pleasure of competing in the hardest mountain bike race in the world. After completing over 4000ft of climbing today I truly look forward to doing over 5000ft tomorrow.

I swear you have to be a masochist to organize a race this hard. The ascent didn't bother some, mainly Matt Kelly-first, Roland-second, Chiotti, Leuchs, and Tinker to name a few, but for the rest of us it was a long haul. Not only did the rider's have to deal with the altitude, but for those who paced there was no where to pass on the top fifteen minutes of the climb!

My main goal was to stay steady and not blow up. I succeeded! From the bowels of the pack I worked my way to thirteenth by the top, but the group bunged up on the upper single track and that was where I would stay. I trailed 5 minutes behind but would have liked to loose a little less time.

Len why are you so mean to the dear rider's that love you? While I sit 10th in GC I ponder whether I can recover fast enough to lay the hammer down tomorrow and climb the rankings? Couldn't we just split the pain up and race the 45min crit tomorrow instead of the 2:15 death march? I guess that would give the rider's an opportunity to recover!

Well everyone wish me luck as I (and everyone else) forge new areas in the realm of suffering. My prospects are as good as a gerbil remaining untouched in a bathhouse so wish me luck!


Chris Sheppard


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