BaseCamp member Matt Franco shared his experience at the 2023 Tour de Palm Springs in the Coachella Valley in California.
TdPS is an event that I have been doing for 4 years now, 100 miles under 4k of climbing. We had great weather, and it was not windy, which is one of the main issues in Palm Springs. We had roughly 500 competitors doing the century, is not a hardcore race, in fact is not considered a race, but you know how that goes lol.
I latched with the front group, the most climbing is done the first 18 miles, I knew if I had a chance was by going hard at the beginning and hopefully recover for the remaining 82 miles. By the end of mile 15 we had 2 guys ahead and 3 guys following including myself, we caught up to them by mile 18.
We rode together doing a nice pace line until mile 50, at that point the front group was now 10 riders, water stop was coming up so they all asked to stop to refill, when they asked me I said no, I will continue, when they asked why I replied so you have some to chase 😝.
So out of 10 riders 8 stop and another ride along with myself continue, I was pulling and the guy drafting told me that we needed a strong 2 miles to set us apart, his plan was not to stop at all to which I replied let’s do it!
At this point we are at mile 51ish, only 1 mile since the main group stopped to refill and the rider behind me yields flat!!! Ughh so I found myself riding solo the next 49 miles 😩
I kept going, thinking to myself, as long as I don't blow up and keep a steady pace I might have a chance, so my goal was 3 to 3.5 w/kg for the next 49 miles, which was all working great until I missed a turn, adding 2 miles to my century 😤. Now I don’t know if I’m first or behind the first group, I just kept going and at mile 80 as I was passing an intersection I asked the cop that was there giving riders priority if there was a group in front of me, his reply was no you are the first ride, inside me I was like woahhhh time to keep pushing!
So I got to my 90, nobody behind, mile 95 still nobody behind as I'm inching closer I thought damn they are gonna get me at the last mile, keep pushing Matt, I see the finish line I sprint and still nobody behind!
I’m so happy, finished first 100 miles 4:24 at an average speed of 22.6mph doing 50 miles solo! Yes, I’m happy 😊
Big thanks to Tim Cusick, Amber Neben, and Namrita Brooke (eating has improved performance!).