Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fayetteville Stage Race

The Fayetteville Stage Race has been my nemesis. It consist of a road stage on Saturday morning, a short rolling TT Saturday afternoon and then another road race Sunday morning. It should be a good race for me since I TT well but it has always had my number. The first year I did it I had a bad TT on the short rolling course and then broke a spoke on the 3rd stage and DNF. I missed the following year and then last year the Saturday road race was epic. It started out fogging and in the upper 50s/low 60s about a quarter of the way through I double flatted and was chasing after that. Then a cold front hit and the winds picked up, it started raining and hailing, and the temperature dropped into the 40s. By the end of the race I was down and almost hypothermic. I did the TT and finished 10th but my body was wrecked so I went home and DNF'd again.

This year I was determined to finish. Saturday started with a 68 mile road race. It was a fairly smooth race but was fast as we finished in 3 hours flat. The last hour of the race I could feel cramps coming on and in the finishing sprint my legs completely locked up and I barely made it over the finish line but had a group finish. I spent the rest of the day trying to hydrate and get my body ready for the TT.

I started off on the TT which was the first race on the Kestrel but it felt extremely hard and I was definitely slow. Quickly my 30 second guy caught me, then another guy, and another guy. I couldn't figure out why I couldn't get any speed and figured it was the cramps from the morning. I finally rolled in a miserable 4 1/2 minutes behind the winner. Getting back to the car I realized my rear wheel has slipped in the drop outs and was rubbing on the brake the entire TT. It was frustrating to have more bad luck but encouraging to know at least I didn't suck that bad.

Sunday was a 65 mile road race and it was brutally fast from the start. It was also windy and the field was quickly strung out and guys were dropping out after the 1st of 4 laps. Half way through the 2nd lap I couldn't stay with it any more and came off. I managed to find 3 other guys and even though we were slow the second half of the race we still managed to finish in 3 hours. I was happy to finish even if it was 40th out of about 65 riders. I have finally finished Fayetteville and maybe next year everything will finally fall in place.

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