Sunday, January 31, 2010

Copperas Cove

Sorry for the late post, I'm playing catch up after completely burning out...but more about that later.

Road season kicked off the week after the State Cyclocross championships. No rest for the weary..... The week was a whirlwind of preperation. Glued the Vittoria Open Corsa's (my favorite race tyre) on the still dirty cyclocross rims since my carbon wheels are currently under remodel. Cleaned and tuned up the road bike. Packed up all the roadie gear. And met up with 3 of JPB's strongest Masters riders for the drive up. There was probably close to 50 years of racing experience in the vehicle with me. One of the greatest benefits of this team is the mentorship of the riders, both as racers and as truly good men.

It's always a little unnerving being in the pack during the first race of the season. Getting comfortable being in the middle of 50-80 racers of unknown fitness and bike handling takes a race or two. This race also begin my season as a Cat 3 roadie. Jonathan, Mike H., Jesse, and Alec all joined me for the initiation to the 2010 season in the 3/4 race. The field was about 70-80 strong on a rolling course that started with 7 miles out, followed by a 36 mile loop, and then 7 miles back into town. We started out and TBI and RBM put their teams off the front and each rolled a rider off in a slow attack. With their numbers up front they could make it very hard to organize a chase so I used some newly acquired cyclocross to duck around the pack while passing some sidestreets and jumped up to the two breakaway riders. The field didn't like this move and quickly worked to bring us back and the two other breakaway riders sat up. I kept the pace and soon found myself riding away from the field. After cresting a roller and seeing a decent gap, I accelerated and tried to make this break useful for the team. After about 5 miles of rolling solo a rider bridged and much to my delight it was Jonathan who is riding extremely strong. Jonathan proceeded to drag me around the course for another 20 miles as we fought headwinds most of the time. At the halfway point my legs decided this was more than enough after being used to short cross races and quit. I said goodbye to Jonathan and was slowly drawn back in by the field. I sat in the field for another 8 miles, long enough to see 2 other riders bridge to Jonathan and make the eventual top 3, and then cramped up and watched the field disappear. The last 17 miles were incredibly dull and painful but made somewhat easier after hearing that the break I started eventually led to a 3rd place finish for Jonathan. I hope that my legs will come around to road racing soon.....

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