Tuesday, March 20, 2012
I'm so glad I decided to make the 3rd race in this series the first and not this past weekend...mostly because I think the 4th race was more difficult...and had I started on the 4th it would have been UGLY!!!
So with that in mind here's the tale. This past weekend, I was A LOT more prepared to race and was ready to ride shortly after I signed up for this melee. The good thing about racing the masters race is it's the first race of the day and I'm able to warm up on the course...bonus...no trainer to haul around!!!
With a solid 25-30 minutes of warmup, I'm feelin ok, with the usual race nerves, the time comes to line up. So I roll to the line and get a spot on the front row, this is pretty easy to do in a 25-30 rider field. A short speech from the race official and away we go!!
I hit my pedal on the first try, which is always a good thing, and slot into 2nd place. I sit there for a lap then it's my turn to pull the field. I proceed to maintain the pace of the 1st lap while riding in the gutter anytime I could...after all...if the field wants to follow they will...right?
After about a lap and change of my shenanigans the field was done and the race was on!! Straight to the limit for about 2 laps and then a respite. During the break in the action, a few breaks tried to form but the field would not allow anything to get up the road. So we roll along for a while and finally a 3 man break gets clear. I was thinking it wouldn't last, based on what happened to the earlier attempts. I was wrong.
About 2/3rds of the way through, the pace is pretty much slow...this goes on for 2 laps, and I'm thinkin about giving another go to get across. The pace remained slow and away I went, my effort was not 100% but enough to get a good gap, as I was riding away, I was thinking maybe this would rile the field and get the chase going. I looked back a few times and nothing, I pick up my pace, look again and here they come...
The next 4 laps were 100% chase the break and flat out BRUTAL!! With no success I might add...There was several times that I thought I was going to go completely blind from the pain!!
With 2 to go, the pace relents and everyone take a breather. Going into the last lap, I end up on the wheel of a rider that is in the top 3 overall. He has been riding strong all day and this makes me happy!! I'm thinking this is my wheel and I will fight the mutha f***a who tries to take it.
We are rolling along and the field is getting itchy. The jump finally comes and my "lead out guy" doesn't react...BAH!!! So I jump and the chase is on, we rail around the 4th turn at speed and drag race to the line.
I was about 13th-ish when it began and managed to pick riders off and squeak into 8th with a bike throw at the line...I thought the guy I threw with beat me and I told him I thought he got me...until I saw the pic at the top. Courtesy of THE Lanterne Rouge.
It's not for first but it made me feel good knowing that I didn't quit until the chunky monkey peanut butter ass was beltin out a tune with both lungs!!!
Monday, March 12, 2012
If you were to ask me, a month ago, about racing in 2012, I would have laughed and said NO WAY IN HELL!!! Well with a little stretching, foam rolling, and the use of a baseball to destroy knots in my legs, I finally decided to give an early season crit a go.
Saturday morning I was getting whacked out on caffeine, and thought it would be a good idea to purchase my licenses for the year...that sucked!!! But $90.00 bucks later I can race without any hassle from the officials for not having a freakin license...
I planned on rolling up to the start line on March 17th, but a racing buddy who has come out of retirement told me he was going, so I sat there and pondered...screw it, I'm going, I have no excuse not to especially since I've actually been riding a bit and don't feel to terrible when doing so.
In my infinite wisdom, I decide to line up in the masters. Oh yeah, I made the decision to race at the very last minute I possibly could...I was on my bike with 20 minutes to warm up...next time I will leave earlier...
So, the "warm up" done, I sit on the start line with about 30 other riders...great...I will finish 31st. They gun goes off and away we go. The wind is blowing but not too bad. On about the 4th lap a small break tries and fails. One lap later 2 guys roll off the front and get away. I'm thinking this will not last, about a half lap later 2 more roll off the front and again no one chases...I watch for a bit and when they got about 200 meters out, I jumped and went across with no one in tow.
A lap later there are 5 of us together and the rotation begins. I skip the first 2 pulls mostly because my fitness is nonexistent at this point, but I am not a leach and would rather get shot out the back working towards success than sit on and steal like a punk ass bitch!!!
So I start pulling through and unfortunately my turn kept coming around on a slight uphill into the wind...After about 4 laps of this, the bell tolled and out the back I went...
The good...we had a sizable gap and that gave me plenty of time to recover and get back in when the group came by. The bad...this was the winning move...oh well, I was there for the intensity and that's what I got.
As I have thought about how I raced these last few days, I am happy with how I rode, I must say it went better than I thought it would. I listened to my gut when it said get across to the break, and of course we all know the gut is always right!! Just gotta listen...
As for the finish, a fellow MTB'er who is riding really strong at this point set the pace for the last 2 laps with me on his wheel, instructing him to ride in the ditch and make these sissies earn the 4th place they all seemed good with...we get to the last turn, he peels off, I sit at the front for a bit, and finally the group gallop begins. I jump up only to realize the tank is empty, and let them go. No worries though, I got a good bit of work done.
One last thing...I will never understand how or why a group that has plenty of time to bring a break back, won't get organized and do it...I personally would rather race for the top step. This race, the group decided that 4th was just as good as first...I just don't understand...