The hours have slipped away like so many grains of sand from the hour glass…these are the days of our lives. Sort of. These are the waning hours before those brave men and maybe a woman or two courageous enough to take on There Will Be Blood Gravel Road Race. Born on the wind-swept fields of Bliss Street and the cruel ascent of De Paterberg, the race has drawn only the best and most capable of the Grand Rapids area.
The race has ten confirmed riders and more than a few immediate favorites catch the eye. The hometown hero has to be GVSU Collegiate Cycling’s Thomas Beebe. He’ll be joined and bolstered by an increasingly on-form Wes Sovis of Hagerty-TOLaw U-25, who has mastered the course but says his fitness is not quite there to challenge in the two-hour race. Yours Truly will also be pedaling around.
Geoff Kuyper of Leadout Racing be the top contender and may well be the protected rider with a powerful support squad in Dan Korienek, Mark Hotchkin, and Dave Lenting. Leadout is leaving nothing to chance, sending nearly a full squad. Under high temperatures and strong winds, they will need all the firepower they can muster.
Aaron Zuelke will also be in attendance coming off a 1:49 time at the Iceman Cometh last fall. He’ll be working himself into top fitness against Freewheeler’s Dan McGraw and strongman Eric Hune. The wildcard of the race has to be Matt Baranski, a GVSU student with few results but loads of potential.
There Will Be Blood covers a 5 mile course that is 75% gravel with one paved section. The forecast calls for 12-15mph winds from the south, which means the riders will be going into the wind over the loosest gravel road and also when cresting De Paterberg climb.
The race begins tomorrow at 1 after a 1230 riders meeting at the Allendale Biggby. Check back tomorrow for a full report, photos and video interviews.