Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Habitat for Humanity Road Race (2/17/07)

Bike racing...one week you're up, the next you're down.

This road race was 85 miles with some hilly terrain, wind, and cold. There was a good field assembled that looked to be around 80-100 riders. Some of the talent included Aerospace Engineering, Preferred Alliance, Cyclescience, Josh Thorton from Kodak-Sierra Nevada, Kyle Wamsley from Navigators, and a team from South American with stage racer Wendy Cruz...along with all the other local talent.

The race started briskly, and with narrow roads and the yellow line rule strictly enforced...it was a huge task to get to the front! Ryan and Clint did what they could to cover early moves, while Curtis was suffering from his 10 hour marathon hunting expedition the day before. We missed the strong early move that had representation from all the major teams, which put us into chase mode. It proved difficult, and no time was retrieved from the leaders. As gaps formed, different groups went up the road...and it all became pretty confusing. What I did know, was that I didn't make the front split.

Jeff was able to infiltrate a break on lap 2-3 and headed off. On the last lap, Victor's legs started cramping and missed the next split. With about 3 miles to go I attacked and bridge up to the group in front of me with about 1000 meters to go...but was really cooked by the effort to get there. Jeff tried to lead me out as his giant legs siezed from dragging his huge body over all the previous climbs (although, he made some really interesting grunting noises as this happened, you should ask him to replay them for you!). I just went to the line as fast as I could, and was about 3rd in the sprint from our group. Great job by Jeff for staying in the break, and giving all he had left at the end for the lead out! This really wan't his type of course.

When the results were posted...there were around 20 people in front of our group! Wow, talk about losing track of riders! This was really a good lesson on staying attentive early, and being aggressive. This race wasn't nearly as hard as the road race in the Bahamas, and I could have done another lap or two when I was done. Results in bike races are pretty unpredictable, there are so many factors involved...the race course, wind, temperature, weather, tactics, crashes...and a lot of luck. I'll keep in mind this experience, and try not to make the same mistakes next time...and hope for a little more luck.