Mike Burris’ Green Mountain Stage Race Recap
The Green Mountain Stage Race is a celebration of sorts. For me, it marks the end of an incredible road season and the beginning of my schooling in cyclocross. Rather than recount all that went down during the race as so many have already done, I wish to offer some highlights from the 2012 edition.
The number one highlight for me was seeing so many local riders racing and racing well. Everyone was sharing their personal accomplishments and encouraging each other throughout the weekend in ways I have never observed. It was quite moving and further confirmation that northern Vermont has one of the finest cycling communities around. The volunteerism was remarkable, as I am sure the race promoters can attest. Many local participants both raced and volunteered! All for the love of cycling.
Another highlight for me was seeing many members of our masters team race their hearts out. The GMSR is no easy race. These guys gave it there best and I couldn’t ask for more. I am thankful for the relationships I have with these guys and the sacrifices they make to participate. It is the main reason I put the team together and continue to move it forward.
One of the most spectacular highlights was watching Dean Phillips go from “down and out” (after a mechanical ruined stage 1) to launching what has been described to me as one of the “fiercest attacks and breakways” the young-ins in the CAT 2 field have ever observed. He so deserved that win!
Lastly, I can say that I had the race of a lifetime. My results aren’t spectacular with a 24th overall out of 65 starters, but then results never tell the whole story. The last time I raced GMSR I was a Cat 5 beginner in 2002. I dropped after the second day in dead last. I finished the race as a CAT 5 in 2003 but again I was near the bottom. Fast forward 9 years. I raced competitively all weekend and finished 3 minutes behind Roger Aspholm and David Gazsi after 4 days of racing in an extremely difficult Master 40+ field. I felt great all weekend, never ran out of energy, and hit all my goal wattages for various hard sections each day. I couldn’t ask for more.
I am always reflective about my performance as many racers are. I am already setting goals for the winter months. Already plotting my race calendar. It is easy to become consumed with bike racing and forget you have many people in your life that sometimes get less than the attention they deserve. It is important to remember that cycling is a hobby (unless of course you get paid to do it) and our results don’t define us, our character does. Chances are the people you like the least, care the most about your results and the people you love, just want you to be safe and have a good time. I should say that I did almost have an epic crash at the finish of Stage 2. I believe it was God’s way of reminding me of my mortality and checking to see if my priorities were in order. He got my attention.
I want to thank our sponsors again for such an incredible season. Burris Logistics, Fit Werx, The Music Emporium, Vermont Chiropractic and Sports Therapy, DuBois and King, and Performance Field Testing have been tremendous partners in this endeavor and we could not do it without them.