Three days after Thanksgiving last year, registration for Cirrem opened at 9pm. If you blinked an eye, 150 people put some cold hard cash on the table for an event that's three months away. Would my training over a bleak Iowa winter would be boom or bust have me ready for 65 miles of steep relentless hills on gravel roads through Madison and Warren counties. Or, would race day weather bring bitter cold, snow, frozen, muddy, broken drive trains.
The Cumming Tap, HQ
This is the ninth year Bob Moural has opened the doors to the Cumming Tap early on what's usually a really cold Saturday morning. Breakfast is served up at 8:30, and room is filled with lively chatter. This morning the conversations are filled with what should I wear. It's a true dilemma, not quite freezing as the sun appeared, and by mid day it's the forecast is for the middle 60's.
Last minute instructions from Kent Carlson. Jed Gammell and Kent are the master minds behind what's now the season opener for racing in Iowa.
A light wind blowing out of the east pushed this strong group of 30 riders to the nine mile mark. A few were ready to push the pace and most were content to see what played out. With 55 miles still to go, it's best if you can keep a few friends around cause it can really get lonely out there once you get past the only check point just east of Winterset.
Ron Cooney hooked up with Christopher Rhodes and Lee Buel to finish an hour ahead of schedule.
North River Road
34 miles into the day, Jason Anderson, Brian West and Travis Loewens drop into the North River valley with a minute and thirty second lead ahead of Joe Peterson, Randy Reichardt and Adam Venting and Matt Moehn.
Rich and Marco take a half hour off the tandem course record.
Liz Van Houweling goes on to win the womens race.
St. Patricks Catholic Church
Brian West goes into time trial mode at the 55 mile mark. With nine miles to go, he has a minute and 19 second gap on Matt Moehn, Adam Venting, Travis Loewens, and Jason Anderson.
Ani Train crossing the North River, third on the podium today.
Adam Venting set's a course record.
Rounding out the top three men are Drew Wilson and Travis Loewens.
Liz Van Houweling, Lisa Vetterlien, and Ani Train top the women's podium.