Did the state line road race this morning. It rained almost the entire time, I didn't really mind.
Our race was 50 miles. 6 laps of a circuit with a moderate hill at the finish. I'm thinking the rain slowed our pace because it never seemed that hard. Also I think I'm getting stronger.
My race went like this...
Showed up late and rolled to the start line with just enough time to pee behind a bush. Rain was hardest for the first half of the race and my visibility was severely limited for a few sketchy minutes. Not much interesting stuff to tell for most of the race. We did pass and get passed by the masters three times. That was kind of fun although this opinion was certainly the minority. Apparently at one point I was blocking the solo masters leader. I heard all these people yelling but didn't know it was directed at me. Sorry. I feel bad about that and don't think that was fun at all.
The final time we passed the masters they gave us an earful to stay in front of them for good and I agreed. We had 1/2 lap to go so I did some pulling for the first time. After tucking back in I started thinking about how to win. The final climb was almost immediately proceeded by a short but steep downhill followed by a short "s" sweeper type turn. I thought about attacking right before the downhill but was boxed in. Luckily space opened up and I at least was able to move up inside the top 10 approaching the climb. I made it around the tough turn at the bottom and followed wheels up the hill and towards the line.
I was right in the mix during the sprint but could only manage 6th. I had the legs but there just isn't a lot of space to work with in a road race.
Still, that's one of my best finishes ever and those last 1000 meters were some of the most fun i've had no my bicycle.
This was probably the first time on my road bike where I had a real chance to win the race.
X and i were in Arkansas last weekend. It's turned into an annual trip. More so for me than her but the last two years we've gone down to ride the trails and then do the XC race on Sunday as part of the Eureka Springs Fat Tire Festival.
I've said it before but the XC race is a must for any serious Mountain Biker racer in the area. Plus Eureka Springs is a must do for any fun loving person in the area.
The race is great because it gets a big turnout and starts in the downtown, taking city streets and in town singletrack and dirt roads before working it's way to the trails at Lake Leatherwood, which are a blast. The town is great because it's so funky. Hilly, curvy, neat architecuter, live music, good food, beautiful scenery. Riding your bike thru Eureka Springs is like riding thru a fairy tail.
Last year i had 3 flats and it took me over three hours to finish. My fitness was good so i was pretty pissed at the result. My fitness is a little lacking this year so i was just looking for fun.
My race went like this:
Cat 2 (sport)
The first 20 minutes of the race is a series of steep up's and downs... and i felt great for all of this. As soon as they blew the whistle i knew i had good legs. That was a great feeling. My position was pretty good but once we hit the proper singletrack around Lake Leatherwood my lack of mountain biking began to show. I had no flow. For the next 30 minutes a slow but steady stream of riders passed me. My mountain biking skills are pretty non-existent right now (The last time i rode my mountain bike with the exception of the day before this race was at Bone Bender back in early April, basically 3 months. I Blame that on buying a house. It was woth it.) so i just let them pass and enjoyed my ride thru the woods. I was able to keep Joe Fashion in my sights thru all this and passed him when he took a minor spill. I did unclip to make sure he was ok. He would later pass me when i stopped and was confused about how many times i was supposed to go thru the start finish. So i guess that was fair.
I actually felt pretty good, the handling skills were lacking but i had some power and felt like i could do what i wanted out there.
Based on a glance at the results i was 9th out of around 22. But don't quote me on that.
This was a good day... and it was a good day to have a good day.
I love the Tour of Lawrence.
Our race wasn't till 3pm so quiet Brian, Brady and myself lounged at my place watching the tour and eating pancakes. Because of this i unfortunately missed X's race and her last lap kamakazi move, which apparently almost worked.
I got to Lawrence pretty early, had an expresso at Bougiswa Pig, and did a short but good warm up. Lined up on the second row and for the first time in a while got clipped in immediately.
It took 5 or 6 laps but after that i felt great. There was a stiff headwind on the back side but besides that the course was wide open and fast. I was having no trouble moving around, from a strength standpoint or from a smarts standpoint. If i had to get out of the saddle and hammer, i could, but there were also all these great lines nobody was taking.
One comical moment came with 2 laps to go when everyone jammed a turn. The guy to my left is screaming "inside, inside!" and then the guy to his left starts screaming "inside, inside!". After the turn i asked how "how many insides are there?", after a short pause the reply came,"a lot". I'm not one for talking during a race but if it keeps everyone upright then i'm all for it.
I guess i did say "You really want that wheel, don't you?" to a guy who rather aggressively forced me off a wheel in the 2nd lap. I was having fun all day.
Despite feeling good and having the corners down my position was not great at the start of the last lap. I managed to move up a bunch with a big move on the rise after turn 4, followed by some fast and aggressive lines around the remaining turns. It was a great feeling to be approaching the last turn, hands in the drops, knowing that i was getting some of my old ability back. X said i was 11th at the final turn and i ended up 12th at the line. That's an improvement over my 15th place last year.
Very fun race.
I know i had the strength for a top 5 but this was one of my best results ever. Last week at Tour of KC I faltered with 1/2 lap to go, this week i had more than enough in the tank to be aggressive.