9th Annual CIRREM
By: Joe Kleidosty
The 9th Annual CIRREM started off with a tandem flyin’ and a Dirty Dog chasin’! The race began with a neutral 1.5-mile rollout over asphalt before getting onto the gravel, with promoter Kent Carlson leading us out. Riders were spread across the gravel road on a slight downhill, as a tandem shot out of the pack. Joe Kleidosty, with the instinct of a bored gravel Dog lookin’ for some fun, saw that as an opportunity for a free ride and to get clear of the crowd, so he shot along a narrow gap on the left side.
Kleidosty drafted behind the tandem until it was time to keep the pace up and took off again. Not long after, fellow Dirty Dog Don Daly joined in the fun. Another rider bridged up, but the initial 24-mph pace over the first 4-plus miles was a bit much to manage. The group came back together, with some other riders shooting off the front but were gobbled back up.
Yet again, a tandem shot off the front, and Kleidosty jumped on it again to draft into the next punchy hill. None of the attacks stuck, but it kept the pace up. Eventually, three riders broke free, which included Brian West. Further into the race, another group of four riders broke free, which included eventual race winner, Adam Ventling, and, again, Kleidosty missed an opportunity. He was like a playful puppy just lookin’ for a green tandem to chase.
All the while this is happening, Greg Vaught is managing his efforts and cruising the course like a wise, wiry Australian Shepherd. Vaught managed to link up and share the workload with some riders, but eventually he lost one riding partner due to stomach ailments. With the wind, climbing and pace set, this was no easy challenge. Vaught went it alone in the wind for a long distance. Vaught, with his efforts, earned 3rd overall in Masters 50+!
Daly, still recovering from some recent injuries, gutted through his condition and managed a personal best time for the course, coming in at 16th with a time of 3:31:40.
Kleidosty managed to break free from his group with 6 miles to go, picked off a couple of other riders, and finished 6th with a time of 3:19:06, just behind Adam Ventling’s winning time of 3:17:00, which also set a new course record (old record was 3:26:01 in 2016 under similar conditions).
The race was followed by lunch, drinks, awards and swag at Cumming Tap!
Special thanks to Eric Roccasecca for spending the day with us and getting great photos along the course. You can view his other photos for purchase here.