Thursday, March 03, 2011

No. 5

Pete rocks a respectable
beardsicle at the Skwentna
Roadhouse checkpoint.
(Photo from Iditarod
Trail Invitational's Facebook gallery.)

The first three racers have reached McGrath in the Iditarod Trail Invitational. Not surprisingly, Pete Basinger won the 350-mile race for the fifth time.

He was dominant from the midpoint of the race, leaving several checkpoints hours ahead of his chasers. He finished in 3 days, 6 hours and 30 minutes, which was less than an hour off his course record.

You’d think that with a record like that, the Daily News could have found a more current photo of Pete for this morning’s edition, instead of publishing that old standby from his historic Dreadlock Period.

Jeff Oatley turned in a fast ride, and narrowed the gap enough to finish only 25 minutes behind Pete. But damn, how about that rookie who took third place?

OK, calling Greg Matyas a rookie is a little weird but, hey, he was a rookie in the ITI even if he has raced bikes for decades. Greg allegedly told people he’d be “touring,” but 3 days, 12 hours and 20 minutes is a damn fast tour, if you ask me.

I think Greg just scoped out his chances and then hauled ass to secure the top three spots for Fatbacks. Whatever his motivation, it was a hell of a ride for an old dude in his 40s. Congrats, Greg.

Speaking of age, here’s a little nugget that sometimes bounces around my brain this time of year when I’m impressed by Pete winning the Invitational:

Long-distance cyclists commonly peak in their 30s.

Pete is only 29.*

Scary, huh?

*The Daily News says he's 30, but I'm going with 29 based on the age he gave me during an interview a few years ago.


surveyor said...

As impressed as I am by Peter and Jeff, I think Greg out did them. We know those guys are super human; Greg's an old guy with a bad back that totally kicked ass. I guess you never do forget how to ride a bike........

Vito said...

29 and in his prime. Amazing!

Daniel said...

Congrats Greg!
Very well done man.