The July 13th 2019 Holland TX Classic Rematch edition had some unique conditions that led to an interesting race & ride for the participants. We had Texas summer heat, but a calm southern wind that shifted to a stiff northern wind due to the storm conditions in Louisiana. We had an interesting mix of gravel kings and queens, pure roadies and a strong women’s open field. Also the typical bad luck that can come up and bite your tires.
Holland is a unique course, since it is 50/50 smooth gravel and road surfaces. You can gain traction, comfort and safer travels over the gravel with fatter gravel tires, but on the road sections dragging those gravel tires over the pavement can really kill your energy and speed.
We had a really good mix of veterans and noobies out including that guy who recently won Dirty Kanza. Below are some of the mobile interviews gathered to share.
Winner of Open Elite Women: Katie Kantzes of Team Wolf Pack Racing (Austin, TX) Katie is relativey new to gravel and groad, but she excels at climbing and her power to weight ratio gives her an edge in these disciplines. (insight, photos coming)
Open Elite Women tied 2nd: Monica Merced of Phemon Cycle Club (Austin, TX) Monica is a cyclocross queen, so she’s got good flow on loose surfaces. But on Saturday, she “did die a lil bit” over the 110km in the lead group. (insight, photos coming)
Open Elite Women tied 2nd: Celine Oberholzer of Resue Project (San Marcos, TX) Celine is powered by sun, plants and coffee. She is also blogging at bethestonecutter.com (insight, photos coming)
Open Elite Women 4th, Samantha rolled with a roadie classics setup:
I rode my steel independent fabrication with 25 ribmos at 80psi and I had tubes. I delivered on ribmos in my jimmy johns days so I knew that they were strong. For next year I would probably go with a slightly bigger tire and lower psi. But with no flats I was pretty satisfied.
This was my first gravel race so I definitely did not eat as much as I should have, but I found that goos were the easiest to eat. I had 3 goos, a thunderbird bar, and some shot blocks. I picked up 2 new cold bottles with nuun in them every lap in the feed zone so i used 6 water bottles total. Electrolytes are my summer necessity. I also drank some pedialyte in the feed zone. Next year Ill make myself eat more during the race, I could have used some more calories.Samantha Wipff of Phemon Cycle Club (Austin, TX)