By "When In doubt"...read this | April 18, 2011 at 10:31 AM EDT | No Comments
I'm going to try my best to make this short, but it was a 4 part, 3 day, stage race, and there is alot to say.
This was one of the best overall weekends I have had so far in my career as a cyclist. Me, Brian, Justin, and Mike departed from Bob's Bikes at 11:30 friday morning for the night criterium. We joked and laughed, but silently prayed about weeving out way through the tornados. And Looking back on the drive, I feel very blessed and my heart goes out to the families of the lives lost.
Stage one: Friday night criterium. The move was initiated by Matt Davis (la sport), Brian (my teamate), and Baine Foote (herring gas). Those three got a good gap and I followed two others about halfway across to them. The two riders in front realized they couldnt make it, and when they sat up, I attacked and went across alone, and as soon as I got there, I went to the front, making sure it wasnt a wasted effort. 4 other riders came across, but one soon fell off. Justin and Mike worked hard in the feild covering any attempts to bring the break back. The four initial riders drove the break, lapped the feild, and moved strait to the front, barely avoiding a late crash. The finish was super fast with x-pro russ walker leading out matt. I couldnt quite come around matt but with Brian on my wheel, we turned in a very impressive 2nd, and 3rd, putting two minutes on the rest of the feild.
Stage two: 80 mile rolling course with heavy crosswinds made for a very tough race. There were tons of attacks early and we were represented in every break, but non stuck until the last lap. Mike was in a large early break, and Justin went off the front with a single rider about mid race and made it tough for the other teams. The final move went on a bad crosswind section, that played in my favour as a larger rider. There was a move that I covered, then a counterattack by matt and baine, leaving me being the only one of us in position to go. I think I spent 50% of my energy in those 10 minutes of the race to bridge to those guys. But after making the bridge, the race was over from there. I helped drive the break until we caught local rider travis sherman and one other rider, who had slipped off a little before us. After catching travis, I sat on, not wanting the time gap to overtake brian's 2 mintue lead over travis. But travis had good legs and matt davis was super motivated to put more time on brian. So the gap grew to almost 4 minutes by the end. I cramped up and couldnt come around in the end. I finished third. Brian blew the feild sprint away for 5th, but was wrongly awarded no time gap, which came back to bite us in the end.
Stage 3: Time trial. Short flatt time trial didnt fit us on our road bikes compared to the guys in full aero gear so none of us did well, but still managed to hold our overall times to 3rd and 7th.
Stage 4: New course made for a short easy final day. Rolling terrain with nowhere to get away led to a feild sprint. First year bad team comunication led to a somehow dissapointed feeling of a 3rd and 4th place finish by me and brian. So we left for home trying to convince ourselves that 3rd and 4th is very good, but knowing that we could have done things differently and maybe came out with a stage win. The overall came out with me in 3rd, Brian in 7th, and justin staying consistantly with the feild each day, and running just good enough in the time trial to come away with 3rd place in the 3 category and moving his way into the 17th overall, the last spot payed.
Really great weekend for tria. Be sure to read Brian's blog as it will probobly more detailed and better depicted than mine.