First of all, I have to apologize to Nick S. for letting him down in Vegas today. Sorry buddy, but they paid me off.
Second of all, I have to thank my teammate Chris Swan for an amazing lead out and support today in an effort to help get me some upgrade points.
Third of all, I have to thank the weather gods for the great weather.
Fourth of all, I have to thank the guy with the chain saw at the finish line for briefly stopping so we didn’t have to shout to hear each other while talking after the race.
Fifth of all, I have to thank that bee that stung the guy with the chain saw.
On to the race news.
I woke up this morning with a sore throat and a cough. I laid in bed listening to the rain coming down on the roof and sideways onto the window. Crap. This isn’t how I want to start the race season. So I went back to sleep to give it another try. And when I woke up the second time an hour and a half later, my sore throat and cough were diminishing and the rain water on the street was evaporating up into a clearing sky. That’s more like it.
My dad and I drove down to Corvallis, I got on the bike, I warmed up, I took a poop, I ate a cliff bar, I said hi to some people, and we began racing. The majority of the first lap was easy (for me). That’s because I had Chris’ wheel to follow, guaranteeing me a spot up front with little time spent in the wind. Then he got a flat and I was pretty much on my own. A break was up the flat and windy road (that’s windy like the wind blowing not the curve–they’re both spelled the same), so I chased er’ down part way and stopped when I saw the pack closing in on me. Most of the break was caught so I sat up near the front for a few more miles. A few more miles later, the break had gathered numbers and distance again and was lookin too strong, so after a couple guys took some hard pulls on the front, I sprung out and jumped the gap. I hate it when people do that to me (sitting on my wheel while I pull like a dog, then sprint by to get in the break while I go backwards). But the pack soon closed in after I got there and we all came together for the finale of the first lap. We went up the little hills at the finish line, then down the backside and began chasing down more stupid breaks that kept going off. And then, out of the gloriously gleaming clouds, a fierce golden light shone through as a thousand trumpets blew, beautiful women fainted, and the heavens opened their pearly gates as Chris emerged, faster and more powerful than before…Chris the White.
He had mackerelously (an amazing kind of fish) changed wheels and rode back onto the pack after flatting. Now there’s some strength.
But the task of chasing down breaks was too great for Chris to do alone, so I did my fair share this time around. At one point in the race, I brought back a devious-looking band of trouble makers in a pull that put my one minute power of the day at 666 watts. There you have it, Chris of the heavens and Kennett of hell. But our lordly powers combined couldn’t win the day.
The bunch was all together by the beginning of the climbs (roughly 2K to go). I rounded the corner going into the first hill sitting in 12th place or so, got boxed in a bit but moved over to the right as Chris and some others passed. I got in right behind Chris. We continued up the short climb at what felt like a deathly slow pace. Jacob Rathe and Greg Crawford
Joel Wilson (I think it was Joel) went up the road at this point, but Chris and I were too boxed in to move.
I couldn’t take it anymore, so I whispered into Chris’ ear, GO GO GO IM RIGHT HERE!! And we cut off to the far right edge of cement and passed the lolly gaggers in front of us as we crested the hill. I don’t know if anyone was sitting on us at that point because I didn’t look back, but I told Chris I was feeling good. “Chris, I’m feeling good,” I said. He looked like he was hurting as he continued to pull on the downhill false flat that lead to the base of the last little uphill sprint. “I’m feelin reeeeal good,” I told him as he chased the last two still up ahead. He took me around the final turn and BAM, I was off. I think I stepped on the gas a little too quickly. I made up ground on Jacob, who by this point had dropped Greg a while back, and I pulled right up beside him for the final few meters. But I simply had nothing left at that point, and he held me off to the line by a few feet to take the win. But I’m not too upset. I’m happy the first race is done and over with, like all of you probably are, and I’m also glad to have such an awesome teammate and team this year. Thanks again Chris, we’re gonna tear it up this year!!
If any of you who don’t have a blog (Mike and Will) would like to post your race report in a comment so we can hear about it, do it. I heard that Mike was an absolute monster today in the 3’s. And I heard that Will is an idiot and crashed a few days ago and now has a giant welt on his cheek.