Monday, May 6th, 2013 | by ergonusa
April 26, 2013
Eddie O’Dea set a new course record for Southern California’s Stagecoach 400. The Topeak-Ergon rider set off on the 390-mile route with 32,000 feet of climbing with 34 other riders on the morning of April 26th under bluebird skies in Idyllwild, CA with temps quickly climbing into the 90s (Fahrenheit).
The course featured a mix of dirt roads, pavement, singletrack and tracks through washes where riders had to be very creative in their way finding. O’Dea slipped back to the middle of the pack after some early navigational errors, but quickly surged back up to 4th place through the town of Borrego Springs.
“I made a wrong turn early on because wasn’t willing to push as hard of the leaders while we were still at high altitude and I’m wasn’t familier with the area being from Atlanta. Then I lost my sunscreen which was a key since we were crossing the desert for the next 100 miles. I didn’t panic though and just kept plugging away to catch those guys up front.”
Saturday morning at the 24-hour mark, O’Dea had not only caught the leaders, but put over two hours into them as he rode through the night without sleeping. He passed through, Anza-Borrego State Desert Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, Anza-Borrego State Park, along the Sweetwater Reservoir, the US Naval base, the USS Midway Museum, Sea World, the University of California San Diego, and Torrey Pines State Beach before turning back toward Idyllwild. “The route was designed to be for touring and the variety of terrain and scenery was amazing. From desert to dense mountain forests to downtown San Deigo, it there was always something new coming up.”
Outside of Escondido, O’Dea stopped at his last chance for food near I15 about 28 hours into the route to reload. “It was a little nerve wracking” O’Dea recalled. “I had the lead, but no idea what the gap was nor did I know what really lay ahead. I knew I was at a couple of hundred feet above sea level and I was headed to 5700 feet and not in a straight line. I was also well past my previous limits of sleep depravation. I just kept the mantra of Stay on the Gas playing in my head. I knew the guys behind would not give up. Jay Petervary is a tough dude.”
Stay on the gas he did. O’Dea roared through the 2500 foot climb through Black Canyon, across the valley through Warner Springs and into Anza where he found water for the last time and the lack of sleep was beginning to catch up to him.
“I was getting a little confused as I headed into Anza and mixed up the batteries for my lights I spent the night before. That was a sign, but also had no idea of the gap to my pursuers. I stopped quickly at a RV park in Anza for water and then as I was hiking/riding up the Jim Truck Trail below Lake Hemet, I swear I saw a headlamp coming up the trail below me. I panicked, I mean I took off like I was on fire toward the finish. I did not want to be caught now. I didn’t even stop to put on my jacket after the assent. It was several miles later I saw some local guys who were out to cheer us on that I learned it was all in my head. I still had a few hours to spare. I stayed on the gas any way.”
11:27 PM April 27th, 2013, O’Dea completed the 390 miles by signing in at the Hub Cycles shop in IdyllWild to set a new course record of 39 hours and 27 minutes and bettered his nearest pursuer, Guy Sutton, by about 3 hours.
Eddie O’Dea, 1st place, new course record