Aside from the fun times I am having here in Kansas City, I have been completing (somewhat) the end of a very long racing campaign. This year was my first year in the P12 category. Other than Rouge Roubaix '06 in Baton Rouge, LA, I have only used my racing license to compete in the great state of Texas. This year, however, arter upgrading to a 1, and feeling like I had achieved my goal for the year, I decided to take a little journey into the bigger arena of competitive cycling. I have been racing since the end of January 08 and have only missed one Texas race while working a 45hr a week bike messenger job. It's important that I consider these things when I look at the results of the last five weekends. They are pretty horrible on paper. Each one for me is a personal experience with a thousand fighting echoes that still reside in my mind and tremor like aftershocks through my body.
It's Saturday night and tomorrow is the last day of racing before I go home to Austin and go back to work as a courier and spend the rest of my time fixing my body with yoga and Barton Springs. But before that, let's race report...
Friday night crit was on a roller coaster course in a pretty seedy area of KC. Steep downhill, hard right, up again, another right, flat straightaway to another right, very open descent, curving right, punchy uphill to start/finish. Carlos attacked from the beginning and got a gap immediately. A few others joined and the break was established.
That morning, Carlos had finally gotten the bolt on his chainring replaced, but his small ring was so bent that he still dropped his chain when he was riding in it. During warmup he could not get his small ring to not drop his chain so he decided he would have to do the entire race in his big ring with only an 11-21 cassette. ouch.
Stefan Rothe attacked the field on the left and I had a slow reaction on the right. Stefan had a much better jump but I still had a good gap on the field while Brian Jensen sat on the front. No one was gonna let him go, so I decided I would try and bridge up to Stefan. It didn't work out for me and when the field caught me I jumped in to recover. I could never recover and got dropped about two laps later, making about 25 minutes of the race.
I had been feeling real good during warmup and for the first 15 minutes thought I could make a big impact on the outcome of the race. Then one move and I'm unable to recover and getting dropped. Weird. I rolled over to the start/finish where Mel is and I'm gettin dizzy. Even weirder. Later that night, I'm super achy and then I sleep tons. For 25 min of racing?
Carlos' break gets reshuffled a few times and he misses the winning move of three that includes Jensen, Rothe and some 42yr old. Jensen attacks with two to go finishes solo. Rothe and his partner work together until the last lap when the 42yr old drops Rothe. Carlos gets 4th in the field sprint for 7th.
Woke up to rain.
Mel and I go have coffee and buy me a cycling cap at Volker. There is a guy in there with his girlfriend and she is wearing what is no doubt a typical prom dress. He askes me if I have a minute. I reply yes but I don't work here.
Carlos' new problem is his cleat is almost completely stripped and if his foot cocks to either direction just a millimeter, he comes out of his pedal. Today's course was tough with a nice little climb, switchback descent, some mud on a very fast curved section and a steep climb about 1k from the finish. I had nothing today, so I was nothing. For the first few laps I stayed near the front, out of trouble. I was feeling so tired but tried to tell myself that other's were probably tired too. With 11 of 18 laps to go Jensen got away with a few others. Up the climb, through the start finish, Carlos looked around to see if anyone could help. I went to the front and punched it up the small climb to keep the pace high. Afterwards, I just focused on recovering, so not to get dropped. After the switchback, there was an odd angled right turn that always fed to a strung out, hang onto the wheel in front of you, section. I did not want to lose connection as I was already in fear of getting dropped after my effort. The rider in front of me braked too hard (i thought) on this odd angled turn and I jumped on the inside to avoid too big a gap opening. He got offended, overcorrected and then we both got gapped. He sat on my wheel as I struggled to get back on to the field and then attacked me when I was used up. That was the race for me. Jensen won again out of a three man break that included Brad Huff and a very young kid. Carlos came in next, first out of the chase group.
Who said this had to be all about racing bikes?