2011 Mead Roubaix Road Race

What a day for a epic race. The new Mead Roubaix course did not disappoint. Not only was the course extremely hard, the weather made things even more difficult. With a steady and sometime gusty wind out of the west, the afternoon fields shattered on the first lap. By the end of the second lap the Mens 35+ field was down to 4 or 5 guys and the Mens P-1-2 field had two guys off the front with 6 to 8 chasing.

Tom Zirbel (Photo Credit: 303Photo)

2011 Mead Roubaix Results

Photos and Video

The 2011 Mead Roubaix Race should be equally as great as the ever popular Boulder Roubaix. Since the Boulder Roubaix will not be held in 2011 take that Roubaix energy you have up to Mead and race on a course that could show nearly as much promise that the Boulder Roubaix has to offer.

2011 Mead Roubaix - What You Need To Know

Date: April 10, 2011
Start/Finish: Downtown Mead, Colorado

Course: 19.4-mile loop with mix of pavement (66%) and hardpack dirt road (34%)

Race Distances: Majority of competitors will race 38.8 miles, 58.2 miles or 77.6 miles depending on category (full race day schedule coming soon).

Climbing: 950 feet per lap
Crux: Sharp, 300-foot dirt road climb on Weld County Road 7, which begins just 4.4 miles from finishline

What about Boulder Roubaix: In an effort to not abuse privileged road access or burn out local host communities, DBC Events is operating Boulder

Roubaix on an every-other-year basis. This also allows DBC Events to bring bicycle racing to other Colorado communities, further developing this amazing sport we all love.

Read more on the Mead Roubaix Review

map of 2011 mead roubaix roadrace




Comparing drunk driving to a bike race???

If that thing was dangerous it would have yielded many more trip to medical aand the hospital. Based on the numbers it appears to be much better than your avg crit.

The point was that outcome

The point was that outcome doesnt prove the safety or prudence of the circumstances. Theres lots of comaprisons (s)he could have made. but the point is, that saying "only a few people got hurt = reasonably safe course" is a logical fallacy.

No, I understand your point.

No, I understand your point.

But no amount of recon or eqipment or assessment matters if the guy 2 guys in front of you goes down in soft dirt at 25mph and takes 20 guys with him.

No one is arguing that racing isnt risky, but there are accetable degrees of risk and a tipping point where such risk is irresponsible.

I think the folks here who are concerned are arguing that the big field plus soft fast dirt downhill was unreasonable.

Who's lucky??

I doubt the folks in the hospital think they we're lucky. Howabout zero casualties? No deep sand at the bottom of a descent = no casualties.

Dangerous Course? Another comparision

Or think about how many crashes you watched in the real Paris-Roubaix. Those guys are the best around and they were falling like mad. Thinking the Mead-Roubaix is "inherently dangerous" is preposterous. Riders may have been legimately scared of sections but that doesn't make it "inherently dangerous".

"Its not clear to me why

"Its not clear to me why folks keep invoking the hardest races in the world- raced by professionals with years of training and professional support staffs- in defending the running and outcome of an amateur bike race whos participants are overwhelmingly beginner/cat4 racers and almost exclusively amateurs.

How is it reasonable to compare safety standards and conditions between the two?

Should our races all be 150 miles long too? The pros can do it, so should we!

C'mon, guys."

All racing is "inherently

All racing is "inherently dangerous". The question here is whether this course was "unreasonably dangerous. Given the experience and expecations of amateur cyclists likely to be in this race, was a fast loose downhill right after a pavement to dirt transition, that bottoms out with really soft 2-3 inch deep dirt, early enough in the flat course that there wasnt likely to be much seperation, and stacking fields so that 150+ racers started within a minute of eachother, unreasonably dangerous? I think it was.

60 mile cross race

Strong winds, deep sand, and crashes made this feel more like a 60 mile cross race ridden on a road bike.

I pre-rode the course on Wednesday for the third time. Conditions on Sunday had vastly changed and deteriorated in sections since my pre-ride just a couple of days before. Seeing the the crazy loose sand and witnessing two consecutive knarly crashes on CR3 was a good recipe for for quite a bit of initial shock in that section. Course conditions were probably very different due to earlier races, but I also think road work that was supposedly done on Friday and Saturday actually made the dirt portions worse. Pre-riding the course would not have prepared me for this unless unless I rode a lap right before the start of my race.

On The Couch

Sounds like all my on-the-couch training this winter that kept me home today paid off ;). First Roubaix I've missed in years but I think I'm okay with it.

for snapped off ?

Maybe his for was defective. The Crash photos are certainly remarkable. The fact the race produced a total of 6 registered medical issues says a lot. All those guys in the pile up photos fell on a sandy dirt road instead of pavement. Just like when your kid falls in the sandbox.........no injuries

I'm one of the folks in that

I'm one of the folks in that squence. and at least two guys I know in those "sandbox" photos who did end up in ambulances.

Sandboxes are fine for kids playing, but 20+ guys crashing into eachother, running over eachother at 25mph in a sandbox hurt a lot.

Great Event

Well organized, well marshalled, great venue, cool atmosphere. Course was super. The conditions were difficult, but that is a plus - not a minus. You race the conditions that are present on race day. Bad weather, rough roads, soft gravel. That is a roubaix style race. You prepare for that by training, recon, proper equipment, looking ahead, and staying focused on the task. Diverse courses and events are one of the best thing in cycling. Thanks to the many volunteers and dedicated folks who make our races possible!

I didn't race but I've heard

I didn't race but I've heard comments from teammates. Mostly they say it was hard, but fun, and a race they will remember for a long time. I'm glad we have people like Grealish in Colorado because you can always count on an epic and well organized race from him. Reading comments like Pete's make me fairly certain I won't be missing this race next year.

Pete I agree, but come race diverse events on the road!

It is funny to read what you say Pete, but yet you never race on the road. So the reality is you say diversity of road events is great, but then you only do one a year that fits exactly what your main strength (and you are a strong mo fo, that is not meant any other way).

So as Dan said if you guys like deversity of events, back it up and come race some paved RR, a few crits, maybe somthing hilly. Your history say you do not like diversity, you only race the events that are in your wheel house. I love seeing Jake Well have at it in road events.

Personally I thought was the course was OK, not great. If the two sand pits were hard pack I would have said it was a real good race. When a road event is decided by who walks and who rides a section, that is just not what I like.

Two other points, registration was a joke and for how long these guys have been doing it, there is no excuse. Pre-reg line was 30 guys long with 2 volutneers. Walk up was 2 riders long, alos with 2 volunteers. Come on CG you guys can do better, why make it harder on the pre reg guys? Also it was exactly the same at the 2010 Roubaix, you need to learn from it. The start was a little nuts two with all the fields mushed together. Someone needed to seperate the fields and call them up seperately.

Thanks! You're right, I

Thanks! You're right, I should do a few more road races!

When I was racing seriously back in the 90's, I did a lot of road races between mountain bike races. Crits, hill climbs, TTs, all of it. But I hung up the wheels in 99 and it is only the past couple years that I've gotten back into racing, and primarily just focused on 'cross. Last year I did 2 road races, a handful of MTB races, and 5 months of cross. I love doing fun road races that have interesting courses when I can. But I also try to save my energies for fall/winter.


So with all the fuss stemming from the new timing chips do they seriously not have results for mead yet?

This a different type of "road" race

Love it or hate it was interesting. Take away the two really deep sand sections and the course would have been as good or better as previous boulder roubaixs and better than the ones we did the race started/finished at the rez.

As far as front range road racing it was a good course and the wind made it a tactical bike race. I personally don't like to get off my bike and run in a road race but I’m sure some people seemed fine with it. If the course is the same next year the attendance will be the decider of peoples overall opinion.

agree, for the most part

no running/hiking here. Was able to ride up all three times, must have been one of the few times my "wide load" helped.

I honestly don't think that the end result of the "grading" was exactly what Chris (Grealish)had in mind.

I knew I'd likely have to dismount so I planned ahead

I prerode the course and I'm not strong enough to power thru the uphill sand pits, so I made an easy swap - traded out my speedplays for eggbeaters + MTB shoes. This plus running tubulars was the best equipment decision I've ever made. I managed to ride up the first lap, but was forced off on the second lap and was able to remount smoothly without any trouble. I jogged past a couple guys who were trying to ride it and fishtailing, so depending on your gear and your power to spin it, running would be faster than riding anyway. And I'm not a fast runner by any stretch.

You are not forced to race

Colorado hosts numerous events through out the race season. If you feel a race may not suit your style of racing than please do not race it. Your amateur race career is notdependent on a single RR. I sat it out due to safety concerns and it appears a good choice was made on my part. I hear a lot of complaining in Colorado unfortunately and many complainers do not make positive changes

theres nothing wrong with

theres nothing wrong with offering feedback and opinions, dude. its not a personal attack on the promoters.

im the first to thank promoters and volunteers for thier work, volunterr for events myself, and do evrrything i can to support the scene.

rhis feedback comment section exists to enable feedback and have conversation, as long as we're respectful.

Advertised as "Hard Packed Dirt Roads"

Needs to be updated to
10% Hard Packed Dirt Roads,
27% Loose Sandy Roads (Bring your cross bike and shoes, as you will likely be running a few sections, like a Cross Race. )

Should make a chicane section before the CR. 3 downhill dirt. Spread out packs and reduce the speed. All the large packs going race speed wrecked there. Small groups going slow where ok.

Did Anyone watch the

Did Anyone watch the Paris-Roubaix yesterday? See any crashes? It's not for everyone, I don't think Lance ever raced Roubaix.

Awesome Race, keep it happening. Deer Trail, and Hugo coming up for 100% pavement RR's.

Its not clear to me why

Its not clear to me why folks keep invoking the hardest races in the world- raced by professionals with years of training and professional support staffs- in defending the running and outcome of an amateur bike race whos participants are overwhelmingly beginner/cat4 racers and almost exclusively amateurs.

How is it reasonable to compare safety standards and conditions between the two?

Should our races all be 150 miles long too? The pros can do it, so should we!

C'mon, guys.

You need to harden up, or

You need to harden up, or maybe the ACA needs to have specific course requirements for multiple amateur categories? Ie "Masters 45-50, Paved, no disc wheels, less than 1000ft climbing" category. That way the race matches the level of difficulty that racers think they should have to face. It is bike racing and as long as the promoter has ambulances on site, I would argue that all open roads are fair game and there should be no assumption that courses will be catered to rider's specific abilities or needs.

Jeez, No one is saying that


No one is saying that the race was "too hard".

Theres just question about the inclusion of one particularly hazardous section that increased the risk of the race without otherwise making it a "batter" race. I havent seen anyone say the dirt climb was too dangerous. Hard is fine. Unsafe is another thing entirely.

EXACTLY. The most sane

EXACTLY. The most sane comment on here (some of the macho man comments are just stupid).

There is a difference between hard and dangerous. I love hard, I do not love dangerous. And that race was more dangerous than any crit I have raced in CO, including ones in the rain like Longmont pro/1/2 last summer.

I am one of the folks who

I am one of the folks who voiced concern about the CR3 section of the race in the comments below. But I want to be clear I'm not calling the promoters irresponsible. I think it was a really exciting, well run event, and I'm grateful for the promoters work and for the support of the city and various law enforcement groups. I offer my two cents in good faith and I hope no one holds it against me, even if we disagree. at heart we all want good challenging exiting racing and if we differ on acceptable levels of risk and safety measures, then we're all entitled to disagree here and let the market and the promoters decide based on attendence and feedback.

I think it should be noted

I think it should be noted that it was not a race dominated by crossers. The pro race was podiumed by road racers and the 35+'s was won by a roadie as well. Just because Pete and Robson race cross doesn't mean they do not have a strong road pedigree. Those guys would be the strongest out there at Deer Trail and Hugo as well. The course in my mind was as safe as you made it. Most of the crashes, including one by my significant, other were caused by pushing the limits of one's ability. I did it all day and was lucky enough to stay upright. It was a great race. I understand people's concerns, but if there was no soft sand, wouldn't we be hearing that it was too easy? I have no doubt.

As noted by someone earlier,

As noted by someone earlier, the big crash on CR3 that took out 10-15 guys and send a couple too the hospital had nothing to do with pushing the limits of ones ability for most of them.

While I really do appreciate

While I really do appreciate your opinion, my point was that I do not feel that it is any different than someone taking a corner at a speed beyond their ability in a crit and taking out 10-15 other riders.

right any my point is what

right any my point is what if that crit had really bad potholes in the corners or ungroomed gravel or fresh tar?

we'd complain and call it unsafe.

the argument here is that CR3s condition amounted to a similar lapse.

Great point - encapulates everything we are saying

I think you point above is the essence of the matter. You could not race a criterium if there was an unswept, gravel strewn course. I also think of it this way....at what point do the conditions result in a course or section of the course where the equipment typically used by the peloton no longer is commensurate with the challenge. You could in theory say HTFU and force road cyclists to traverse off-road single-track over tree roots, and just say it is part of the challenge. But at some point you have designed a course which surpasses the combination of equipment, speed, and number of riders hitting that challenge at the same time. Yes - Paris-Roubaix is difficult, hard on the body and overall there are crashes. However, I do not believe they send the riders along cobbles down steep descents, nor do the cobbles present challenges which a road bike cannot handle. But soft sand, on a decent? In a mountain bike or cross race, go at it.

Again - CR3 was not dangerous if you were already dropped or riding in a small group. It was dangerous when taken into combination with guys, riding at high speed, on road bikes into 3-4" deep sand. Maybe if there were officials at the start of that section with huge warning signs to slow down, and be careful, it would have changed everything. But adrenaline, competitive spirit and the essence of the moment result in everyone collectively barreling into that section of the race at a speed too high for a group that size.

So Koppenberg is around the corner, what can be learned here?

Koppenberg is just around the corner and while it may not suffer from the looseness that sections of Roubaix had it has it's own issues, for example weather is a constant problem that is argued on. Some do not want any mud at all and if there is it should be canceled, there can also be wicked washboard, some looseness on the edges and the bridge can be an issue especially since most fields go crazy/dangerously fast and wide on the lead up to the hill on lap 1. Wind is also another, when is too much wind really too much?

What can we do as racers to set what is acceptable racing conditions (keep in mind this is very relative per the racer because many felt Roubaix was great)

What can the ACA do? Should events like Roubaix, Koppenberg, etc get a different category than that of Road Race? Something like Dirt Road Race which means this event does not hold to the same standard of a RR?

Should Koppenberg have neutral start until the hill?

I think field size is a big

I think field size is a big issue on gimmick courses like MR and Kopp.

Especially when they combine fields like they did yesterday.

So you have 35+3 and 3 start together, racing together but scored seperately. but just off the top of my head, Trip Wall, who got 3rd in SM3, is 37 or 38 and beat Greg Scanlon who nominally won 35+3, even though they were in the same race, started at the same time, and were working together, and Tripp beat him by 5 minutes. But because Tripp checked off a different box, Scanlon gets the W.

That system doesnt make any sense to me, and means that you have a GIGANTIC single field starting. and at Kopp, like MR, theres NOTHING to thin or break up the field before the gimmick. Looks like Kopp has them starting seperately, so it shouldnt be as big a problem as it was at MR, but i dont get why, with a circuit as long as MR, they had to pack the start times so tight.

As long as they keep the corners groomed at Kopp, its not a deathtrap. Sure, people fall and crash on the wall, but its usually more comical than dangerous, due to the low speed.

Kopp Last Year, 35+ 3s run

Kopp Last Year, 35+ 3s run as a separate field from 3s/35+ was fine. It was a very safe field, as the dirt road at Koppenburg is hard packed and ride-able. (If it snows, the hill is not ride-able, but still not dangerous.)
Keep 35+ 3s separate from 3s or 35+ when possible. If people want to race the 3s or 35+, then they can sign up with them.

great race but..clean uo CR3,and don't combine the fields

I loved that it was a hard race, and that it challenged my handling skills. I like the idea of a separate category for these races (Roubaix class?)
But allowing the big fields to hit the sand at the bottom of the hill was asking for problems. The uphill sands pits made this epic. If possible, scrape the sand off the bottom of CR3, and grade it back after the day is done. If that can't be done... maybe a yellow caution flager just before the section to warn the riders. (not everyone can pre-ride the course)
Start the fields based on their speed: 1-2-Pros, 35+, 45+, 3s, 35+s, woman, 4s. In the midwest, packs were required to stay separate. The motos would ensure a caught pack had to slow down and give the overtaking one space. (dropped riders could work together, but not sit in a following pack) that just keeps it safer for all. That also prevents breaks from catching a group, taking a couple of seconds break then moving on.

The dirt sections of

The dirt sections of Koppenberg are mostly flat or uphill. I've only raced it when it's been dry, but even on 21 road slicks, it didn't seem sketchy at all.

I spent yesterday drinking beer at the Avs game because I had a bad feeling about the Mead race, even though it sounds like it was a fun event for most.

And as I stated below, starting the SM3/35+/35+3 together is a bad idea. Is giving each group a couple of minutes of space really going to kill the schedule? It's almost like it was done to stir the pot a little.

Why is defending the CR3

Why is defending the CR3 descent so important to some people?

LOTS of people who otherwise liked the course have agreed that CR3 was unnecessarily dangerous as staged, and yet a couple of macho meatheads keep making fun and HTFUing.

How did that section make the race more awesome and what in thier opinion would have been lost in making that descent safer, or rerouting the course to avoid it?

Course was fun and a blast

Course was fun and a blast to race.


Race not advertised correctly.

Tour of the Battenkill has hard packed dirt.

Mead had dirt, lot of deep sand, rocks, and lots of it.

Im guessing you have never raced Battenkill

As stated you probably shouldn't be comparing Mead Roubaix to another event which you most likely have not raced. I have done the pro race at Battenkill the last two years. last year it was hard packed, very smooth, cold and raining. The year before it was dry, loose, had big gravel, potholes and honestly was not that far off of Sundays race conditions. to illustrate the differences last year my team was on clincher tires/ wheels and had no problem and that was the same across the board. In 2009 with 25 team cars to service SRAM with 2 support cars ran out of spare wheels on the first of two 60 mile laps. My team on tubulars had 6 flats. Very different conditions, dirt roads are not always dirt roads......