Wes Sovis has been on every end of Iceman. From a Wave Two start to the Pro race, from being one of the most impressive rides of 2018 to walking out of the woods and climbing into a car at Dockery in 2014, Wes seems to experience the Bell’s Iceman Cometh Challenge in extremes.
While plenty of riders have ridden more editions of the race, few have tackled as many from as many angles. From the front of the pack to suffering and seeing dozens of riders go by, he’s gained a bit of perspective. Ahead of next month’s wave assignments, his tip for the race is especially prescient.
I'd tell people is to not sweat your Wave or even your start during the race. There are 30 miles to show your stuff - wherever you finish, that's where exactly you deserved to be. My best Iceman of all time was when I started in Wave 2. Even in Wave 3, I got to the finish line with absolutely nothing in the tank. Just ride your race and don't get caught up in the craziness at the start. All those people who shoot ahead in the first two miles? If you ride your race correctly, you'll see them again before the finish.
Especially with the course changes in the final four or five miles, there’s plenty of wide trail and elevation to sort things out before you get to Timber Ridge. Pacing yourself for the first 15 miles pays off in a big way in the final 15; ask yourself how hard you’re working, but more importantly, ask why. Did you just sprint up the hill and get five seconds ahead of a group that’s been trading pulls for a few miles? What was the point? I try to think of it as a time trial; it’s like spreading peanut butter on toast. You want it to spread evenly and not run out before you get to the other end of the slice.