Thursday, July 5, 2012
Tour of Lawrence
Photos courtesy of Roger Harrison
I decided to give the Tour of Lawrence another go this year, mostly because it's a pretty big race that's close to home and it has a good payout that goes pretty deep for each race. For the past 2 years I've wanted to line up in the masters race but Mother Nature put water on my aspirations...bitch!!!
So this year I made up my mind well in advance and was going regardless of the weather...which this year was dry and HELL HOT!! One of the best thing about racing masters races is it's usually the first race of the day and this one was no different. WOOOOOOHOOOOOooooo!!! Don't have to race in the hell hot heat!!!
My race started at 9:15am and it was about 83 degrees, life is good!! The high in Lawrence that day was at least 100 and the 3's race was at 2:30ish I believe...Gotta love being an old guy!!
On to the race. Just like like the Tour of KC, I was a bit nervous, mostly the usual race day nerves, and a little from lining up in a race that pays well...meaning the quality of racer would be higher and it could get brutally painful quickly...I think that had me a little spooked to ride at the front...
The race finally starts after about a 20 minute delay for cars being towed off the course. This made me laugh, it's a college town and I would be willing to bet the poor jackasses were still passed out and were going to wake up to more than a hangover!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
Moving on. The race starts and it gets rolling pretty good right away. They offer a Challenge Tire prime on the first lap and Mr. Johnson, a former teammate of Steve Tilford, hired as a sprinter, proceeds to take this with relative ease.
For the most part this race rolled on pretty uneventful for me. I stuck my nose in the wind early in the race, after that it was try to stay close to the front. I don't recall ever suffering really bad...hmmm...should have launched an attack or two...hindsight....BAH!!!
Several attacks were launched but none were successful due to the strength of the field. There were 3 cash primes and each time they rang the bell, I was not in a good position to contest any of them...oh well...
The race rolls on and with 4 to go I was sitting about 20th. I decided it was time to move up and get ready for the last lap melee...with 2 to go I'm sitting about 10th as we cross the line to start the last lap. I think to myself it's time to get closer to the front, with that in mind I started picking my way through and made it to 6th with ease...That by itself surprised me because every time I wanted a gap to open it did, I have never moved to the front of a race that easily...it was great!!
Going into turn 2 I'm in 6th and the pace goes to the redline. More or less every lap before this one, the field would surge and come around any group that was driving it...not on the last lap, this made me happy!!
We get to the top of the track and I'm still in 6th, SWEEEEEEEEET!! We make a left and start the fastest section of the course. Somewhere in the last 1/4 mile 8 riders got by me...I don't really recall because we were flat out flying and I didn't think it would be a good idea to be rubber necking at that particular moment. We turn on to the start/finish straight and the sprint is on.
I managed to not get passed and not pass anybody...but I did finish 15th, right at the bottom of the payout and got my entry back, so it was a good day. Any race you finish upright and get a little mean green for you effort is a good race no matter how you look at it!!