6 Gap 2011

East Side Cycling Conquers 6 Gap 2011!

by Gordon King


The East Side Cycling band of brothers made the journey to 6 Gap for a third straight year this past weekend.  Sick of training, sick of Clermont, it was a welcome relief to line up in the early dawn of Sunday morning.  The weather was amazing – a crisp 50 degree morning turning into a sunny 85 degree afternoon by finish.  Last year, we couldn’t even get out of the car until right before start due to the threat of lightning strikes!

Two groups of riders arranged at the Six Gap start, Jim, Harry, Mark and Gordon up behind the sub-six hour tape, and Jorge, Doug, and Joe up the hill a bit.  John waited for an opening and joined in the chase a bit later.  Promptly at 7:30 am, we rolled with cool temps, drifting leaves, amazing vistas, AND DRY ROADS awaiting.  104 miles, and over 11,000 feet of climbing ahead.


Joe Jacoby had a scorching performance taking King of Mountain (KOM) timed climbs on Hogpen and Wolfpen at 76th overall in the field of some 1000+ riders, and 7th out of 71 in his age 30-34 class!

Harry Cornell represented in the 35-40 age class with a tremendous gain on his prior year’s performances (this was Harry’s third Six Gap), yielding 45th of 151 class cyclists and 204th overall.  Joe, Gordon, and Harry bombed down Unicoi and Hogpen where Harry was seen attacking cars (!) on the descents and hitting speeds of over 51mph.  We now know that Harry is crazy.

In the “old guys” category of 40-44, East Side really posted some really great showings – Mark Gwizdalski turned in a gang-leading KOM time of 39th of 180 in the class, Gordon King a 59th of 180, Jim Perry a 66th of 180, and Doug Preble an 83rd of 180.  Pretty fantastic representation & rankings for us flat-landers!

In the 45-49 class, Jorge Suarez was out representing with lots of training backing up his new compact crank set.  Jorge carved a spectacular 1 hour, 5 minutes off his Six Gap time from 2010!  Way to go Jorge that’s huge!

Finally kudos to 3Gap_JWT_1John Tenney for coming out and conquering the hills, John was headed for the Six Gap journey, but ended up taking the Three Gap route in the end. Three Gap is no slouch when it comes to pain, though, as John found!  Congrats to John for making the personal, reckoning journey to the hills this year!