If there is a race that should be run in the rain, its this one. Its one of our own little monuments in our area drawing riders from all over the Midwest. The race this year was wet and rain was fore casted for pretty much all day. As cold as it was in the morning I was pretty excited to be racing in shitty conditions.
There were close to 100 riders in the category 3 race. I have only placed well in a RR one time. That was a 2nd place finish at TOH but in the 4's. Ever since then I have seemed to struggle to find the front of a road race as a 3. But I have also never had a true training plan. My result this year wasn't great but I felt like my race was.
The first lap of the race did seem a little slow. Sort of a gentleman's lap so everyone could see the sketchy high speed corners maybe...? No issues first lap other than figure out how to keep shit out of my eyes. It was raining pretty hard at times and the wheel spray made it worse. Glasses were useless pretty early into the race.
The start of the second lap things sped up dramatically. A break formed right away of about 6 or 7 riders, followed by a chase group of about 4 or 5. The gaps were never much and both groups were caught pretty early. The main field was down to about 50 riders cutting the original 100 in half. I'm good at math...
I was sitting mid pack feeling pretty fresh. I hadn't consumed 1 calorie since the race had started and had only drank through half of one bottle(i think endurance specific training is starting to show and payoff). I had 3 bottles on me, it was not necessary this day. I eventually muscled my way to the front of the race and even pulled for a short while. Soon some attacks started and i covered everyone of them with ease. It felt great to be this late in the race and be able to do this.
Coming into this race my only goal was to not crash and get some solid training. Now that was at the front of the race I started to think about a good result. I figured the only way I was going to go for a good result was be at the very front coming into town as to not have to dice it up on the rain soaked brick streets. Because screw that.
Coming up the first climb coming back into town I was sitting around 10th on the far left hugging the center line that doesn't exist. Not great but fairly safe. Just before the second climb a crash happened to my right and a little behind me. A rider fell against my back wheel and it spooked me. I swerved left to avoid anything else that might have been coming my way and looked back to realize I was fine. But in that split second about 15 riders passed up the right side.
That was it. My race was over. I finished on cruise control and out of harms way in 48th and happy about it. Top half. Good at math remember....? Sure I was bummed that I didn't get a top 10 or better but my race effort showed me that what I am doing is starting to payoff.
My form right now seems pretty GOOD. If the plan in the place goes right the next 6 weeks leading up to Syllamo it should be way BETTER. After Syllamo the riding should be pretty intense for long rides that will hopefully take me to the BEST form I have ever had for the Leadville 100 MTB race.
TOH next week. Just the road race though. Need to get a 4 or 5 hour ride on Saturday to keep my fitness going in the direction it is. And in true TEAMSEAGAL spirit, you are all a bunch of jerks for reading this.
Have a nice day!