Sunday, April 15, 2007

podium time

Rose and I decided to wake up at 4:45am to drive down to the saco training crit. Turns out we could have slept till 6 and still be fine, but whatever. I sat in most of the b race, went to take one pull and got yelled at by some guy who was just in general grumpy, so I just sat in the back with the a racers. 15 miles done. 20 or so mph avg. Flat and boring course. Rose leads out the field, and gets passed by everyone.

I roll around, a race lines up, we start, rose is there, then disappears. She took off to ride to a nearby gas station to refill water. While she is gone, some dude in a full colavita kit joins in late. At first I think, oh, guess he is on the masters team. Get closer, and he has the helmet, the booties, the gloves, the bike, his name on the top tube. Uh-oh time. I go over and talk (I sort of know 2 of the guys on colavita from targetraining last year, at least I met them once). Things are cruising, I am feeling good. I realize I have half a bottle and a pack of clif blocks...this could be interesting, seeing as I ate a muffin and coffee for breakfast. Turns out (but I didn't know this at the time) colavita guy is dan vaillancourt, from saco. Had I known that, I probably would NOT have tried to follow his every attack, but I didn't know that. So I follow his attacks, at like 32mph, for awhile. I think we are going fast, Dan probably wasn't breaking a sweat (well, it was like 44 degrees out). We come to the first preem in a group of 5, and I take second behind Dan. He won 5 bucks, I get nothing. We get caught, I recover, another break goes, another preem, I take 2nd (and no money) again but this time behind a SMCC guy (souther maine cycling club). SMCC had like easily 1/2 the field. I realize soon that dan is just attacking to soften up the field/break my legs. So after 4 or 5, I decide to just sit in and let someone pull me up. Eventually, Dan and some guy go. Actaully 4 or 5 are up there. 1 falls off. I stop paying attention, but I guess 2 more fall off. They are gone, and the race is for 3rd (although I thought it was for 5th). Some little attacks go, but SMCC pulls them back. I attack at 2 to go, but no one comes with and I don't feel like riding solo for that long, so I rejoin the 25 person or so group. Bell lap comes, and I jump up to the paceline in the first corner. Next turn, I jump up to 5th wheel. At what I judge to be 1km to go, where there is a nice little tailwind and a straight, with only 2 turns, 1 gradual false flat, and the wind, to go, I decide, screw this whole pack finish get outsprinted in crits thing. So I turn on the jets.

I put my head down, count out 45 pedal strokes, look behind, and there is a guy with me. He comes through, then me. I say, lets make this work, between gasps. We take the 2nd to last turn, hit the hill and the wind, and my legs hurt. I say, you can have it if we make it to the line, I don't have anything left, as I try to get out of the saddle to hold his wheel. We hit the real flat and a crosswind, take the last turn, have about 600m to go, I look back, he looks back, I am on his wheel, I say, stop looking back, lets go. As in, I feel good, i'll take a pull. However this passes on SMCC guy (the one who outsprinted me for a preem earlier), because he pulls me. His speed starts to slow at 300m, and I am wondering, how long untill the pack comes flying by. We pass the 200m sign, I look back, see the pack about 100m behind us, and decide to just go for it. At 125 (or so) m to go, I come around SMCC guy and just give it all I have. No looking back, just pure out of the saddle vision is going blurry hammering. My legs hurt. My body hurts. I use what little I have left to attempt a bike throw (in case anyone was near, I had no idea) and come across. While trying to hold down the puke that feels like coming up, I turn around to see about 6 guys. I have no idea if SMCC made it or not, but I know I did. I ride a cool down lap, go talk to SMCC (I apologized for coming around after I said I wouldn't, he said no worries, you played your tactics well and turns out he held off the pack). Talk to dan briefly, go over to grab my sweatshirt, and find out I took 3rd. Woot. Whatever, it was a training race, but still, I'm happy. I took a risk in a crit and it paid off. Turns out, I missed $$ in both of the preems I went for, and the payout was 2 deep. So no money, but something? Oh wait, uscf pts towards the upgrade. 4 of them, brining the grand total to 4. I am 1/4 there now I guess. If nothing, I furthered my reputation as a guy who just attacks and attacks....

181 miles for the week. 18--something for the year. UNH next week. I am feeling good. Hurray bike racing. Both HUP and COLBY kits are supposed to arrive this week, along with my arm warmers. And more clif bars. And no real schoolwork. BUT MORE FRIGGEN SNOW. BOO. (I am clearly still in post-race delerium).

4 comments:

Argentius said...

Woah. That is cool. Skinnyass climbers rocking flat crits is definitely a cause for celebration.

Especially when there are pros there...

How big was da field?

josh said...

im gonna guess 20 to 30 people.

oddly, the legs feel rather good this morning, to bad the weather chanell says the apocolypse is coming, basically.

Omar Abukar said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alex said...

Josh, you were right. I joined the evil side. I started a blog. Under the cover, of course, of letting my parents know where I am when I am off skiing around the world. But man is it tempting to just write about nonesense. Maybe I'll start riding my bike soon so that I have races to report about. alexjospe.blogspot.com. Good luck this weekend at UNH!

Alex