Borrowing a line from Delbert McClinton, I had a real good time. Went with my old buddies and fellow 60+ guys John Bartle and Rick Hall. After the race was shut down due to wildfires two years in a row, and was not promoted last year, turn out was much lower than it used to be (only about 100 total), so a number of categories were combined. We 60+ guys did not mind racing with the women. First stage from town to McDonald Observatory sorted out quickly when we hit the big climbing. Bartle, Bain, and John Gordon climbed away, with Gordon first, Bain second and Bartle third. I was 4th, Rick 5th, and a strong, lovely woman from Mexico finished with us. Our finish was just before the last several kilometers of 12 - 14% pitches, which was both disappointing and let me beat Rick in the sprint rather than trying to stay with him up the hardest climbing.
The afternoon's stage was another RR - only 18 miles, mostly flat, but straight into 30 mph headwind with gusts to 40 mph; took an hour and a half of hard riding with good cooperation amongst the old guys while the women sheltered behind us, and 20 minutes of easy riding to return. Bain started the sprint, Bartle was right on him, I was right on Bartle, who unfortunately pulled his foot out of the pedal, but we didn't crash, and he was 2nd with me 3rd.
Sunday a.m. Bartle, Bain, and Gordon dropped the rest of us climbing up Mt Locke, while Rick and I were together again, this time escorting two strong and lovely women. At the finish I was able to get the jump on Rick again for 4th on the stage, while Bartle got an excellent second, moving him into second on the points based GC. I was 4th on GC.
While it's a long drive, and there will probably continue to be a significant risk of wildfires, Ft Davis is the only place in Texas with real mountains, and it is a beautiful place to race. Saw Andrew and some other VC there and hope to hear their stories.