July 29, 2020 - Fast gravel course with a bit of sandy two track. TT or mass start.
The days leading up to the Divide, part of the Michigan Gravel Race Series forecasted for weather in the upper 80s to low 90s with a chance of rain. Due to the pandemic the organizers also offered optional single start times instead of the noon mass start.
Opting for the early start to beat the heat and a possible stray storm for me was the right call. I set a goal for myself to be sub three hours on the course since I did not have a chance to ride it ahead of the race. I did a little warm up from the high school parking lot over to the start line, checked in and ended up getting off the about 10 minutes ahead of my scheduled start. The course was very well marked, with some seasonal roads, gravel roads and two track. Mostly gravel with a bit of sand at Gilbert Corners which really slowed me down, its another set of skills I need to work on. My stages power meter was key in keeping me in check up some of the loose climbs. With about 6 miles left in the course the skies opened up into a downpour. The rain subsided about the time I hit the finish line and created a nice bit of humidity for those still out on the course.
All in all, it was a good first race of the year. I learned where I need work and I can trust my game plan and training. I met my goal of sub three hours on a very fun and fast course.