Thursday, June 19, 2008

Florida State RR Championships

This past weekend was the Florida State Road Race Championship weekend. Saturday was the state championships for each age category, and Sunday was for your actual USCF racing category.

On Saturday Ryan, Jeff, Curtis, Karel, and Victor raced in the 30-44 age category (later split out in 5 year increments). Curtis spent the majority of the day in a break which would be caught near the end (a theme for Curtis this weekend)...but, still managed to take 3rd place in the 35-39 category. Karel was 9th in the 30-34.

Sunday Ryan, Jeff, Curtis, Karel, Victor, Clint, and myself represented Lindner Capital in the Pro 1,2 race. There were full squads from Toshiba-Santos, Preferred Alliance, Herbalife and various other regional teams. The course was a 5 mile loop with a couple short steep hills...and a bunch of heat! The race started quickly and we all took turns covering different moves. Drifting back from covering an early break, I see a few guys go up the road with Curtis latched on. This is somewhere around 10 miles into the race.

This break would remain in the lead until about 15 miles to go. Curtis and a Team 19 rider were doing 50-75% of the work, while 4 riders from the three big teams in the race sat on and wouldn't pull...and then try to attack. It's amazing how racing has changed over the past 10 years in Florida. With an influx of foreign riders and their negative riding tactics, the entire dynamic of racing has changed.

Going into the last lap everyone was back together...and then Joel Chavez and John Durango attacked. The remaining Lindner Capital riders were out of position, and with the "Yellow Line Rule" being strictly enforced, we were left to watch them ride away. Strangely, the huge Herbalife squad didn't make an effort to chase and gave the race away. There was one spot left on the podium up for grabs, and coming down the finishing straight it was curb to curb. With nobody able to take control with a race leadout, it was free form chaos. Jeff, Karel, Victor and myself were lined up together trying not to get run off the right hand side of the road...but trying to squeeze through. It turned into a bit of a mess, but Karel was able to storm to a 10th place, while Jeff cruised home in 15th.

It was a rough day, and hoped for a podium spot...but in cycling, even with the best plan and efforts, you're left with the cards you've been dealt. Although we weren't on the podium, 10th place is a great finish and the entire team worked very well together.

Thanks to Karel's fiance, Marni, and Kevin for staying on the course the whole day and handing up water to a very thirsty crowd.