3 races, hot temperatures, and an omnium format were on tap for Justin McQuerry. When the dust settled, Justin was left 2nd overall in the final standing.
The Hotter N’Hell Hundred
The Hotter N’Hell Hundred is one of the country’s most widely visited fondos, located in Wichita Falls, TX. Besides the fondo, the organizers also host a USAC-Sanctioned Omnium, consisting of a 60 minute criterium on Friday, a 83-mile road race on Saturday, and another 60 minute criterium on sunday. Omniums are scored on a points basis- points are awarded by finish, and whoever has the best score after the three races, is declared the overall winner.
Hotter N’Hell Criterium No. 1
The first criterium usually features a tricky technical course, where the field watches for riders looking to break away. Justin explained,
“the race was hard, and even though several dangerous moves went up the road (which I was able to cover or bridge to), everything got brought back and we were looking at a field sprint in the final laps. I was sitting 3rd wheel on the final lap, and jumped with around 500m to go, before the final 2 turns. I led coming out of the last turn, and was beat at the line by half a wheel length by first and second.”
Hotter N’Hell Road Race
Justin summarizes the road race below:
“I was aggressive from the start, and was able to help an 8-man move roll away just 15 minutes into the race, which was the race winning breakaway. I made sure to stay on top of fueling and hydration, as the long, hot, and humid road race was taxing my body and BG [blood glucose.] In the last 20km, I started attacking the break, as I wanted to either reduce the group size or go solo. Unfortunately, I was unable to cause much separation, and a group of 5 came in for the final sprint, in which I placed 4th, beat at the line again for 3rd place.”
What’s remarkable about Justin’s performance on Saturday isn’t just how he managed to roll the break and fight the group, but managing his T1D while in the midst of the race. Type 1 diabetic athletes like Justin need to not only focus on the split second changings of the race like all the other riders, but also need to dial in perfectly their blood glucose to avoid blood sugar that’s too low or too high. Heat, humidity, time of day, and type of food consumed are just some of the myriad of factors Justin considers before he pins up, and in the middle of the field. Racing isn’t just about managing the field; it’s also about managing his own blood sugar.
Hotter N’Hell Criterium No. 2
The last race of the day was going to be hard- “Going into Sunday, I was tied for the omnium lead with the rider who won the road race. Since we were tied on points, effectively whoever finished in front would win the omnium.”
With the whole title on the line, Justin’s race was bound to be stressful. Despite efforts to separate from the race leader, Justin got inched out at the end, placing 9th in the criterium, but 2nd overall in points.
The Hotter N’Hell Hundred isn’t noteworthy simply because of Justin’s result, its exceptionally noteworthy due to the result combined with the added context of being a Type 1 Diabetic. Justin has over 2 decades worth of experience as a diabetic, and this knowledge and expertise has allowed him to fine tune his own diabetes management so he can go out and compete at some of the biggest races in the U.S. Working with the Winning The Race With Diabetes foundation allows athletes like Justin to connect with diabetic individuals nationwide, where he can share his stories like the one above with those looking for guidance and assistance with their diabetic management. Please consider supporting WTRWD for continued diabetes success stories like Justin’s.