Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tour of Lawrence

Me: "Does that big breakfast come with hot cakes?"

Mcdonalds employee: "No, you have to order the big breakfast with hot cakes"

Me: "I'll take the big breakfast with hot cakes, please"

This exchange took place the morning of Saturdays circuit race. Thank god i got those Hot cakes!

The Tour of Lawrence was the weekend before last and i had probably my best weekend ever in a race on my road bike.

Saturday - Hilly circuit race.

61 starters

This was my 4th go-round of the tour of lawrence and i've gotten dropped in the circuit race every single year. It's frustrating because i'm a KU alumn and i lived in two different apartments that are right on the course so this is as close at it gets to home field advantage. Plus i'm skinny so the climbing should come easier to me than some. Still, this race always kicks my a**.

I showed up late and only warmed up for maybe 10 minutes but i had ridden pretty hard the day before and i felt confident and calm. Before we left KC i was in a bad mood (all this packing and prepairing for bike races really takes away from the fun of riding your bike) but once we arrived in Lawrence my mood improved significantly.

I'm trying to think of the standout moments of the race. Connor from Bike America crashed on the fast left hander on the first lap. He crashed at last weeks Tour of KC as well. All this after winning sunday at Tulsa Tough.

There was a descent amount of spectators at the top of the final climb so it was fun riding thru there and getting sprayed with water. I learned i'm not very good at tossing bottles because i lost both of them and one was an insulated camel back bottle. Lesson learned. I think that was the first time i've ever tossed a bottle in a race.

We did 5 laps and on the third i was a little far back going up the final climb. Guys in front of me were getting dropped so i had to force my way thru. There was no way i was going to lose my momentum by going around them so i shouted a heads up and elbowed my way between them. It was worth it. On the 4th lap there was one tiny attack which i started to follow but then i flicked the elbow and made a few others follow before i jumped in behind them. I was feeling a little over extended at that point and didn't want to risk going to deep. That blow up at the quad cities crit in Iowa made me gun shy. Besides that little attack i think the extreme heat scared everyone because the pace never seemed too fast.

It was really hot this weekend. A quick word on staying hydrated... I've become awesome at it. The key, drink a lot of fluids. coconut water is good, Gatorade is cheaper.


With 1 lap to go i started to think about placement for the finish. I wanted to be in good position at the bottom of the last climb so i intended to move up around the feed zone. Apparently everyone else had the same idea and i was maybe 20th as we approached the bottom of the final hill. Not very good.

The road tilted upward and everyone went hard, i passed a few guys but it's kind of a blur. I do know that once we crested the hill and rode the final 100 yards to the finish i dug as deep as i have all year... by the time i crossed the finish line i was 12th. or 13th according to the updated results. or tied for 15th according to the updated updated results.

Either way it was far and away my best race on this course and one of my best races ever. Im stronger than this point last year. And maybe stronger than ever before, at least on my road bike.


Legit finish lines are always nice.

Mustache and friends.
X sat out the Tour of Lawrence due to injury but did what she could to help her teammates. The Trek Midwest Womens team had a great weekend. They won so many races that i lost track. They have a good vibe. Joe Fashion looks like a kingpin here.

You know the saying 'you can never have enough ice'? It's true. And you need a lot of coolers for that.

Kip and his InaTub entourage really hooked it up and provided free food for anyone who needed it. I had 3 tacos. Then some nachos. then 3 more tacos. Heaven. 

The fast race, early on, cresting the final hill of the circuit. 

It was really hot today and while i felt great during the race i felt like s*it after. Finally, after sitting outside for  a few hours watching races, i had to retreat into a nearby school building to cool of. Cold water on the arteries is nice.

It felt like waiting to see a teacher during office hours, only with a mustache.

This is Malcom. The world needs more people like this. Seriously.

Tilford and the always aggressive Nick Coil in an early break.

Brad Huff seems to be riding really well right now but not as well as the guy to his left, that guy won. We didn't stay for the end. It was waaay to hot and my body was not handling it very well.

But i was still healthy enough for beer at Free State. I love Lawrence.

Sunday - fast figure 8 crit.

79 starters.

Truth be told it's late right now and i'm kind of drunk and i've got the All Star game playing on dvr in the other room... so i'm going to keep this short.

I had a blast during this race and mostly because i felt good. I had some trouble clipping in so during the first few laps i was staring at a ton of dudes in front of me. I rode smart and was right in the think of it with one to go. I specifically remember a moment on the last lap where everyone was really gunning it on the back side of the course. It was a do or die moment as everyone made their moves for good position. I had plenty of strength and had no problem accelerating to hold my position. As it was happening i remember thinking "this is awesome", it's the end of a long race and i've got plenty of juice left. Still, my position was just so so and i finished 15th. But... thats the last money spot! I finished in the money in both races.... before this weekend i'd never finished in the money in a road bike race.


Peace out.

I cant say it enough, i love Lawrence.

No Lawrence visit is complete without a stop at the Bougeois Pig. Joe Fashion knows this.

You ever put ice in your shorts on a hot day, try it.

Remember Ben, he broke his collarbone at Tour of KC but he came down to watch. 

Cat 3 race. I see quiet Brian.

Recognize the tile? This photo is totally staged.

Cat 3 post race. 

Ryan took 3rd cat 3 KS State crit. I hope he races open in cross so i can show him how it's done, or have him kick my a**. Either way.

Fast race in action. I took a lot of photos during this race.

Hometown boy Joe Schmaltz bridges up to the break. SC blog favorite Jay Blakenship sighting!

The break, pretty big.

I had a nice buzz going and then i found the Free State tent. It was a good day.

Eventually there were two off the front. Local guy Brian Jensen and Stefan Rothe. I was loving the breakaway.

Brian and Stefan were a pair to be taken seriously. 

The breakaway. 

Kusiak doing work. He rode great today. 

At some point this Mercy rider bridged up to the break. That seemed pretty impressive to me. Two became three and they had a real chance to go all the way. 

Team Tradewind doing their best to slow the field and give their teamate Brian a better chance of winning.

The gap as the break approaches 1 lap to go. This race was SO exciting.

The beginning of the final sprint w/ Sound pony in the early lead. As you can see the break was caught on the last lap. Bummer.

Brad Huff wins! I gave him a very loud and very enthusiastic drunken yell as he came by me. It was awesome. Do you see Kusiak?

Kusiak after an outstanding 22nd place finish. 

K10 from Lawrence to KC... The culmination of a long weekend.


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  3. Big breakfast is just right for your tour of Lawrence.