The weekend started off with a bang, I got a new skin suite to where in the crits. It's Dave Z's TT design. BADASS!!!
Had a nice spin on the rollers before the race, the legs turned over nice and easy. I totally missed the whole staging period for my race so I found myself near the back. I wasn't sure if they were going to do call ups, and if they did was I on the list. Sure I won a race last year, but that doesn't always guarantee anything. I got the call and pulled up next to Chris Horner, we had a small chat and it was time to race. I don't even know how many laps in to the race we were, and the announcer was calling out primes like crazy. I found myself on Horner's wheel and it was putting it down. He rolled a full laps and then finally pulled off on the home stretch and I kept the pace tell I cleared his wheel cause I was hurting. When my eyes uncrossed I took a look to see what the field was like but there was no field. Our group of 8 had a huge gap, we kept rolling nice and even. With 15 laps or so to go Horner, BJM and Barrajo went clear. I had my head up my butt and missed it. The rest of us started to roll through trying to stay away from the field. With 5 to go I hit and tried to go alone. Cam Evans was the only one who came across, we stayed away tell the final corner. Bummer. I ended up 23rd and had a hundred bucks in my pocket from a prime. Not to bad of a day, I'm glad I was able to ride up front without completely cracking.
The road race.
My goal for the race was to ride smart and just finish with the largest group. Being 120 miles long I wasn't sure how my body was going to react to the distance. The first lap of the race was real mellow, I think everyone wanted to warm up because it was really chilly at the start. Attacks started going and going and going and going and going. It was relentless for a lap and a half. I was following stuff here and there trying to follow the groups with all teams represented cause those had the most chances of staying away. After the feed zone the second time through I got in a good group but one team was missing. We were riding pretty hard hoping it would get away but the team that missed got to the front quick and was chasing. I stopped working so I could have some in the tank when the counter attacks came. Just as I thought when we were caught attacks stared to go. Shortly after it seemed that a big group just rolled away. I followed BJM up to the group as Nydam was laughing. He wasn't laughing for very long cause he knew that was the move to be in. Sure enough, the group started working and we were gone. The group worked pretty well for how big it was, but soon enough the attacks came. It was total cat and mouse between the bigger teams and the solo riders. I tried my best to be in the stronger splits that happened so I didn't get caught out. Some where in all of the attacks Eric Wohlberg went and got a good gap.
BJM gave so good advice earlier in the race with me getting ready for Europe. he said to just lay it out there, don't worry so much about the finish just work hard. I did just that, I took pull for pull with the bigger guys in the group, I closed gaps. I think I may have attacked once or twice. Going through the feed zone the last time my top cap started to rattle like crazy, I look down and it's almost off my stem. As I tightened it down with a tool from the Shimano neutral moto, a break of five guys went up the road. Every team was represented except the solo riders. I went back and forth in my head about trying to get to it, or let it be. Kevin LaCombe came back and we had a chat about getting to the break. I wanted to wait for a good time to attack but it seemed he didn't want to be so patient. He rounded up a couple of the other solo guys and started to pull the group. After seeing the guys at the front I decided to pitch in, but when I got up there it was just Kevin and I working. At first I wasn't even sure if we could bring the group back, but eventually we did. As soon as we started to close in all I could think was about all the huge counter attacks that were going to happen. Luckily it wasn't as hard as I thought, and surprisingly I recovered pretty quick. The attacks started again, and all the games and tactics kept going on. The second to last stretch of road started with bad roads and then in to some rollers that are rough after 100 miles of racing. At the top of each one I checked it off the list. Five more, okay okay breath, relax. Four more, so and so forth. On top of the last one I was at the front and looking over my shoulder because for sure there was going to be a attack. Sure enough BJM went with Barrajo in tow. I jumped on and was suffering. Shortly after David Clinger joined us, and then AJM. We didn't work so well cause everyone was watching everyone. I just tried to keep the group rolling to stay away from the others. At the top of the last small rise before the finish the group caught us. AJM did a great save from eating it, I was shocked he was able to stay up. Going into the sprint I was a little to far back and ended up fourth in the sprint and fifth on the day. Not to shabby for one of the longest races i've ever done.
I leave for Europe in a week and a half. I'm going pretty well on the bike and it makes be nervous because I'm not sure how my body is going to be in two and half weeks after the traveling for the opening race. I hope to get so good advice on how to take the next week or so, so I can be going strong when I get to Europe. This next week is going to be a busy one with getting everything ready and having dinners with close friends before I'm gone. I hope I can get everything in with out taking to much out of me. Plus I hope I don't forget something important I need to bring.
I want to give a HUGE thank you to my lovely girlfriend and father for giving some awesome feeds to keep me hydrated and feed!!