This was my first trip to the Pierre’s Hole 100 at beautiful Targhee ski resort in Wyoming. The scenery around Targhee is magnificent with views of the Grand Tetons from the course; it looked like a movie backdrop on every lap. At 6:15 AM the race started with nice temps and a perfect forecast for the day. The course began with a ski area service road climb and then quickly dropped into the first decent that dropped us about 2000 feet into the valley. Jeff Schalk, Cary Smith and I quickly formed a group of three. We were working really well together and dropped the rest of the field on the first road climb. We stuck together for most of the first lap, until near the end, when I got a flat. Unfortunately I had tore my sidewall, and tried a quick fix on it, which is always a mistake, that I always make and it never works out… The only thing I accomplished was wasting one of my co2 cartridges. Then I worked on putting a tube in and grabbed my second (and last) co2 cartridge and had it explode in my hands! Since I don’t carry a pump, I was completely screwed and had to stand around waiting for someone to come by! The first guy had no co2 but the second guy stopped and donated his co2, I don’t know his name but he saved my race, so thanks! Finally I am able to get back on my bike, but now Jeff and Cary have a huge time gap on me. I was more upset at myself for screwing up the tire fix than the actual flat itself but I had about 80 miles to race so I had to put that out of my head and go to work.
By the second lap I forgot all about the flat tire, the riding was great, the volunteers at every the aid stations were super supportive and the views were so incredible that it looked fake. I was in a similar position in my last race and when I had to chase guys that are as strong or stronger than I am, it’s really hard to make up ground! I just kept going hard, but I just was enjoying the day talking to fellow racers and I was able to rally some great sections of trail with some high caliber riders. By the end of the race I pedaled back to 3rd place and got enjoy some great riding in a new and beautiful race venue!