The Tour of Juneau signaled the end of the race season in the Southeast during the weekend of Aug. 14-16, with rain and clouds present each day, slowing the riders and winnowing out those without the proper rain gear and resolve.
The tour kicked off with the Eaglecrest Road Race, with a mellow pace across the flats before devolving into an uphill contest of power-to-weight after riders entered "the cut."
There was a headwind, which almost caused a regrouping as the lead pack slowed on the second hill. Most riders played catch with each other, riding at their aerobic limit and chasing hard. The headwinds caused times for everyone to be one to two minutes slower. One rider who suffered from bad luck as Mike McCann from Whitehorse. Halfway up he cramped and lost a lot of time.
Rain wasn't too bad at Saturday's end of the road race. Usually, the action happens in the hills past Eagle Beach, so nobody wanted to push the pace. In a bold attempt, Jordan Sanders repeatedly attacked off the front of the group. Nobody would bridge up to him, so each time he was slowly returned to the fold.
Everyone was dreading the climb by Cowee Creek in-bound. The pack usually breaks up there. Casey Colton made an acceleration that stretched the elastic and got everyone working hard. But nobody would counter attack. So, going over the top, the pack regrouped and the pace slowed. The pattern was repeated over several of the rollers in that area. Later, people got antsy, and Sanders again made a series of attacks. Various folks bridged up to have a go, but none of the strong guys would take the bait.
So there was a truce on the flats around Eagle Beach to Peterson Creek.
So the group rolled toward the finish together. The finish was moved 50 yards past the totem pole this year. Kevin went too early, and faded to mid pack. Fritz Moser, his son Phillip and Obie Davis, timed it to perfection. The group all stayed together for the same time.
Sunday was the time trial, the race against the clock. Many cool time trial rigs and aero gear were there to be admired. Christmas shopping lists grew a little longer for many.
More bad luck visited the pack. Both Obie Davis and Mike McCann flatted.
Everyone looked a little knackered at the finish. Robert Sowers clearly gave it everything. He was red-faced and gasping at the line. But he was rewarded with the best time of the day. Casey Colton finished with a sprint, coming in as the leader on general classification. Kevin Maier finished not far behind, in third.
In the end it was close in the Expert Class. Casey Colton won by 25 seconds over Robert Sowers. Kevin Maier was a minute and change down on Robert. The rest behind in various steps.
Stage 2 - End of the Road Race (26 miles) - Sport Division
1. Tara Jeans 1:30:42; 2. Jim Sheufelt 1:30:44; 3. Bill Curtis 1:30:44; 4. Tanner Olliff 1:33:10; 5. Greg Huebschen 1:35:18; 6. Megan Sheufelt 2:24:45.
Stage 3 - 20K Time Trial
1. Jim Sheufelt 33:49; 2. Bill Curtis 37:14; 3. Tanner Olliff 37:53; 4. Greg Huebschen 37:11; 5. Tara Jeans 38:54.
Sport Division Overall Winners (all 3 stages)
1. Jim Sheufelt 2:27:25; 2. Tara Jeans 2:32:34; 3. Bill Curtis 2:33:35; 4. Tanner Olliff 2:33:59; 5. Greg Hueschen 2:35:34.
Stage 1 - Eagle Crest Hill Climb (4.5 miles) - Expert Division
1. Casey Colton 18:33; 2. Kevin Maier 18:56; 3. Robert Sowers 19:00; 4. Phil Moser 19:45; 5. Janice Sheufelt19:51; 6. Jordan Sanders 20:02; 7. Ryan Siverly 20:06; 8. Rob Welton 20:11; 9. Mike McCann 20:15; 10. Kevin Sellers 22:31; 11. Bill Hughes 23:17;12. Dave Ringle 24:19.
Stage 2 - End of the Road Race (52 miles) - Expert Division
1. Fritz Moser 2:30:34; 2. Phil Moser 2:30:35; 3. Obie Davis 2:30:35; 4. Robert Sowers 2:30:35; 5. Dave Ringle 2:30:35; 6. Kevin Maier 2:30:35; 7. Casey Colton 2:30:35; 8. Janice Sheufelt 2:30:35; 9. Jordan Sanders 2:30:35; 10. Rob Welton 2:30:35; 11. Ryan Siverly 2:30:51; 12. Bill Hughes 2:46:54.
Stage 3 - 20K Time Trial -Expert Division
1. Robert Sowers 29:38; 2. Casey Colton 29:40; 3. Kevin Maier 31:24; 4. Rob Welton 33:39; 5. Dave Ringle 33:40; 6. Jordan Sanders 33:44; 7. Phil Moser 34:04; 8. Janice Sheufelt 34:12; 9. Fritz Moser 35:40; 10. Ryan Siverly 36:08; 11. Bill Hughes 36:26.
Expert Division Overall Winners (all 3 stages)
1. Casey Colton 3:18:48; 2. Robert Sowers 3:19:13; 3. Kevin Maier 3:20:55; 4. Jordan Sanders 3:24:21; 5. Phil Moser 3:24:24; 6. Rob Welton 3:24:25; 7. Janice Sheufelt 3:24:38; 8. Ryan Siverly 3:27:05; 9. Dave Ringle 3:28:34; 10. Bill Hughes 3:46:37.