Sunday, July 5, 2009

Tour of Lawrence

July 4th I decided to line up in downtown Lawrence, I knew going in it was going to be a fast race..I was right!!! The course had 8 turns, nice and wide, with good pavement...for the most part.

On to the race...Let's start with the wind...It had been blowing out of the southwest all day, which if it had stayed that way the race might have been a little easier, but NOOOOOOooooo Mutha Nature decided to flip it to out of the northwest about 15 minutes before the race...not a bad thing, it meant headwind on the uphill section and tailwind on the start/finish straight. It would have been nice rolling downhill into a headwind and hammering uphill with a tailwind...oh well...

The course is open for inspection and we start riding the course and quickly realize that it will be a very fast race with a blistering fast finish...downhill with a tailwind!!! At about 7 minutes til 4:00, the race started at 4:00 by the way, I realize that I am a wee bit hungry and hadn't gulped the hammergel that I should have ingested 30 minutes ago!!! So I hammer back to the car, and eat it up yum!!!

By the time I get to the start line they are in the middle of the racers about cutting it close!!! So I weasel into line and try to calm down before the race, I look down at my heart rate and it's 155, it was at that point that I started to TRY and relax!!! They call us to the line, tell us it's going to be a 40 minute race with 3 prime laps.

GO!!! For the first time in I don't know how long I miss my pedal TWICE!!! Not a good start...I finally get my foot on and I'm mad as hell!!! I grab 3 gears and hammer up the outside of the race and get to the front. Ahhh that's better...I sit in about 5 riders from the front for a minute to recover a bit, then go to the front and hammer it to try and shuck as many riders as possible, after all...smaller field...better chance...right...right!!!

We had been racing along for about 5 laps, and the first prime is called, the pace is lifted, shortly after and this huge behemoth of a rider attacks with a half a lap to the finish line and sticks it!! I hope it was worth it, because i'm pretty sure he went out of the back shortly after!!!

We've been racing along for about 20 minutes, and an SKC racer attacks at a time that the field was rolling along fairly slow...I'm sitting pretty close to the front and think to myself he looks strong I should go to him, and launch out of the pack and proceed to ride across the gap, fortunately he see me and slows up a bit, which is a totally classy move!!! I get across the gap on the hardest part of the course, uphill into a headwind...can you say DUMB ASS!!! Anyhoo i'm on his wheel and say to him I need a minute and i'll work, to that he says OK...again another classy move!!!

At this point he pulls for another 1/4 of a lap and I come around on the downhill tail wind section and pin it at 31 mph to increase our gap. Our gap increased to 10 seconds, at this point i'm hoping that the fairly large group of SKC riders and my fellow Bicycle Shack hommies are on the front of the main field slowing it down!! My teammates say they went to the front...I never looked back to see, even if I had I wouldn't have been able to see, due to the BLINDING PAIN I was in!!!

For 4 laps it's just the 2 of us and it was by far the most pain I have been in for a looooooong time!!! About half way through our 4th lap off of the front the field has cut down our lead a bit and a rider comes across, I look back and think SWEET!!! I take another pull and SKC pulls through guy doesn't come through, so I go through again followed by SKC and new guy pulls through. This lasts about 2 rotations and he stops again, at this point another rider joins us and I pull through 1 more time followed by SKC, and team Flying Monkey...I wave through new guy and he looks at me, hesitates and then goes by so hard that none of us can follow...This guy is a DUMB ASS!!!!!

At this point the field is on top of us, and we reintegrate...I drift back about 15 spots to recover and punch the gas again to get close to the front. We race on and the 2nd prime goes by and we keep racing. The 3rd prime is announced and a half a lap later my teammate attacks and 2 other rides go with...They get a gap and proceed to keep going after the prime. I have another teammate on the front of the pack, and I think to myself sweet he's going to slow down and I will join him on the front to help, at this point I was 5 riders back, and all of the sudden I see him put his head down and start hammering...WHAT THE FUCK!!!!! I yell at him but he can't hear me and he starts to drag the field up to the break...I was MAD AS HELL at this point!!! Fortunately him and 2 other riders create a small gap and the 2 riders in front of me have riders up the road.

At this point one of the riders in front of me starts hammering, and I yell at him...SLOW DOWN DUMB ASS YOU HAVE A RIDER UP THE ROAD!!!! Surprisingly it worked...we slowed the field for about 1/3rd of a lap and it swarmed around us at the first opportunity.

3 laps to go I'm working way too hard on the easy part and trying to recover on the hard part...Thankfully I realize this and sit in close to the front to recover...going into the last lap i'm sitting about 20th, My teammate goes to the front and proceeds to pin it at 28mph for the entire lap including the up hill head wind section to string it out and it works!!

We get to the top of the hill and start heading towards home and I move up a few spots, we're flying at this point...about 30ish, on to the last turn we lean into that one at 28mph+ I grab a handful of gears and start my sprint I pick off a few guys, grab 2 more gears pass a couple more and it's over...I count the riders in front of me and I nail down 15th...out of 60.

I had a good race, the only thing I would have done different would be to make sure I was closer to the front going into the last turn...closer than 20th more like 10th or better!!!

That's racing...Here are some of my computer numbers...We averaged 25.5 mph, I averaged 190 bpm heart rate for 43 minutes, and maxed at 200 bpm on the finish sprint at 39 mph!! Like I said it was PAINFUL!!!

The Tour of KC is next in about a month...

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