This is a late post. I did this race a few weeks ago and wrote about it then, but forgot to post it on here. Currently, I’m racing the Cascade Classic, where I’m getting my but kicked. I’m looking forward to that last stage though.
Crit: My plan for the weekend was to win the overall, which meant racing smart and conserving energy in the crit, which always ends in a bunch sprint on this course, which did not happen this time. Every previous year I’ve raced this course, it’s ended in a bunch sprint with not a single breakaway staying away to the finish. Sitting on seemed like a good idea if I wanted to win. So I sat at the back for 10 or 15 minutes, extremely bored for being in a bike race, and worried that one of the attacks up the road would stick. I moved up during a prime lap and the pace stayed relatively high for the next couple laps as things were brought back together. It settled down for a moment at last and I was sitting right on Eli’s wheel when he went. It was perfect. Eli sprinted for about 150 meters, then I came around him and pulled hard for a full lap without looking back. When I did shrug for him to come around, I was disappointed to see that about six guys had made it onto my wheel. We had a large gap, but there were too many lazy/wimpy guys to work smoothly together and we were brought back in four laps later. I went back to the rear of the field and waited there for the finish like I had planned. Somewhere between then and the end of the race, 10 guys went up the road and stayed away. And, being an omnium, that meant that all the points for the crit were suddenly gone.
TT: I didn’t place top 10 in the TT so no points. I think I was 11th but can’t remember. I needed a bigger gear on the downhill (which is half the race) and I had to coast for a lot of it. This is the same course as used for Cascade, so it was nice to find out about the gearing issue in this race rather than Cascade.
RR: I played it smart and waited near the back until the first climb, which was around 20 minutes into the 60-mile race. A break had gotten away with six or seven guys early on, which included my one teammate in the race, Sean. So I wasn’t able to attack, but I did follow a few attempts made by Boswell and Shepard when we did get to the climb. The final attack by Shepard worked, and the three of us, plus one other guy, successfully bridged up to the break before the top of the climb. We now had 11 guys up the road, but one was dropped at the top of the climb and another was dropped shortly after, so it was soon down to nine. Almost everyone pulled through for the first 15 minutes and it was obvious the field stood no chance of catching us since all the strongest guys made the break. I decided to do more than my fair share of the work anyways, since Sean and I were the only teammates in the break and I wanted to make sure it stuck, and hopefully give Sean a shot at getting top three overall in the omnium, since he got 2nd in the TT the day before.
About 25K left to the finish, Boswell and Shepard escaped on a climb. I should have gone with them, but had a moment of hesitation, along with the rest of the guys.
One more guy was dropped during the attack, so we were now down to six chasing two. At the top of the climb, they had maybe 20 seconds on us, which we should have easily closed on the long downhill. But only a few of us were willing to do anything about it, and it wasn’t organized well enough to even keep them at 20 seconds. The gap was soon up to over half a minute. Around about this time, I told Sean to sit on and save himself for the end, and I went to the front and stayed there for the rest of the race. I probably pulled about 2/3 of the way to the finish, giving it one last hard pull about 2k to go near the top of the gradual climb to the end. Unfortunately, Sean had nothing left and was dropped right afterwards. I was spent from all the work I had done, and was dropped a minute later with about a K to go and came across 7th, 30 seconds back. Too bad, because they ended up catching Shepard and I know I would have won the sprint and taken 2nd If I hadn’t slain myself over the past half hour, or even if I just hadn’t done that last pull I probably could have taken it. It would have been more frustrating if it had been for first place, but since it wasn’t I didn’t care that much. It was all good training, though, and I’m feeling great for Cascade.
I took a day easy on Monday and did the usual Auberry Butte circuit race course, which is about 2 hours if I go slow, and then on Tuesday I got some real training accomplished with those Secret Intervals I talked about earlier.