Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Soul Crusher Rises: The Dawn of Dominance

Dave Baker's write up on Mark's new ride and the RMR criterium:

The latest addition to the Road Team arsenal made its debut this week: Mark Otterson's weapon of choice -- Soul Crusher.  The name stems from the directive penned on the top of the shipping box: "Mark, Crush some souls! -Zank". 

Soul Crusher did not have a 'Maiden Voyage'; it had a 'Primordial Conquest'.  Rather than a simple 40-mile morning commute, Mark sensed the need to satisfy its hunger, so he got an early start Monday and took a detour through Emigration Canyon east of Salt Lake City.

Tuesday evening Mark gave Soul Crusher (SC) plenty to devour at the RMR Crit.  Here they are near the front, early in the race.

And here.

And here.  Mark and SC are on the wheel of Don from Biker's Edge, who gets my vote for Most Combative for attempting two breakaways (one of which Mark and SC chased down).

Once again near the front.

A bit of back story: this weekend I pulled a hamstring doing some household repairs.  Apparently I need to stretch first.  Anyway, even though I wouldn't be racing, I wanted to see Mark and SC deliver some punishment.  On the drive over, I decided to stop at home and bring along my wheels as spares - just in case. 
With 5 laps to go, SC got a flat on the back side of the course.  Mark hoofed it across the midfield over to the pit at the start/finish line.  We swapped the front wheel, and just as Marked checked in with the race official, the peloton went by.  Even though he could have taken a free lap, Mark sprinted after them and proceeded to close a 10+ bike-length gap.  By the time they came around again, he had moved to the middle of the bunch.
On the bell lap, Mark and SC were in the front 5.  Down the final straightaway, Mark jumped and Soul Crusher responded.  They began to pull away...and stayed away.
The blur below is Mark and SC crossing the finish line in First Place.

And then...


The arrival of crushed, defeated souls...as foretold.

 Warrior and weapon reveling in a hard-fought and well-earned victory.  There will be more.

Ride on.