Oh man, first race report of the year, I’m getting all giddy inside.
Ok, well… now that VeloNews
is covering the collegiate scene, It seems somewhat useless to spell out every excruciating detail of the race. So in the morning there was this race, but you didn’t race against any one, you just went out and had to ride by yourself for like 10 minutes and call it a day. That before a 75 miler, no thank you.
So on to the RR, I’ll just say that Lindsey Wilson provided possibly the coolest race course the Midwest has seen for a while (and I mean a while, this is my 5th year of collegiate racing). Not only is the area around Columbia, KY very scenic, it also has some hills! I don’t mean the kind of hills you see in the rest of the Midwest that you can hold your breath going up, real hills more than a mile long that really make you hurt.
The race started out pretty easy, second lap of three I managed into a breakaway that worked pretty much flawlessly together. After initially getting away we rode pretty steady.
Once we hit the final lap though, we heard the breakaway up the road still had 4 minutes. Our group suddenly got a little quicker, dropping off a few riders who were just tagging along for the ride. We picked up all but two of the breakaway riders by the finish. My race was pretty much over after mile 60, which is about the longest ride I’d done prior to the race. I rolled in a pretty slow 6th. Here’s my super sweet Garmin file:
Unfortunately this might be the last I see of my location, accurate to 50 ft, for a while because as of today my Garmin mysteriously stopped working. Surely it had nothing to do with the spill it took off my bike in the Crit on Sunday.
We got to the crit very early on Sunday, so we all decided to try out for the Adair High School football team:
Needless to say we should stick to cycling (we actually did move it!). So after that quick warm up Andrew Otte and I went for a little stroll about the countryside north of the Crit course. Our ride went from really sweet to epic. First of all, for whatever reason, as soon as you get off state highways in southern Kentucky the roads turn into paved roller coasters. Twisting about a zillion times, with bunny hills that you zip down, sprint a few pedal strokes, and are over. It’s a lot of fun. Additionally, all these roads are super narrow, think bike path size.
On our way back into town we were riding one of these bike paths and it started getting narrower, and narrower, and narrower. Then it turned to dirt. Then it crossed a river:
That’s literally what we rolled up to. I also forgot to mention that the road by this point had turned to dirt, which gave me a flat front tire. So here we were, about a mile from the Crit course, so close yet so far. So we just decided to take off the shoes and wade across all 3 feet of the raging torrent, which was really cold. After watching the Egyptians drown trying to chase us across the river, we rolled back to the course.
Again, you can check Velonews for the details of the crit, but let me first describe how wise I’ve become in my years of cycling. Before the race we had a little team meeting, what do you think we should do? “It’s a pretty tight and short course, It’ll probably be a breakaway,” said Hogan. And I replied “No way in Hell is it going to be a breakaway, I’ve been racing collegiate for 5 F–king years, I know a thing or two, etc, etc” I said.
So about 20 minutes into the race I saw a five man group with about 10 seconds that looked pretty promising. I got across and we lap the field in a matter of ten minutes.
After getting back to the field I was sort of fried, one: from going off into the grass and having to chase back on at one point, and another from losing my water bottle in while in the grass.
The race was winding down and Hogan was positioning to lead me out, Joey went for the late race flyer, everything looked good. Then Joey got caught in a lap, I lost Hogan’s wheel, and then proceed to bump elbows with someone mid pack on the last lap and pretty much lose all my steam. Thankfully Hogan didn’t wait up for me and killed it in the field sprint to come in 9th (3rd out of the field). I managed to get dead last in the breakaway, which was still good for 6th!
So racing is pretty much a learning experience every time for me…otherwise I’d be wasting my money. So here is what I learned from the Lindsey Wilson weekend.
1 – I need more long rides
2 – You actually have to be at the front of a pack if you want to sprint (very important fact I forgot over the off season)
3 – I really don’t know as much as I thought I knew
4 – Always bring a spare tube, no matter how short and simple your ride seams
5 – McDonald’s is still the best breakfast in town
Yes there’s only one, and she lives in the sewer.