Race Report GMSR stage 1-3

This is from the team email that I sent out yesterday about the current race I’m at in Vermont:

Hey, I thought maybe someone who’s at the race should write up a race report. Thanks for getting us on the ball, David.

The cat 2 guys are going to write their own race report since they know what happened in their races better than I do. But just to let you know who’s here, here’s who’s here: Robin Secrest (sp?), Lang Reynolds, Spencer Smitheman, Chris Wingfield, Alan Adams, Alan Schmitz, me.

This is going to sound pretty one sided (my side of the story) but that’s because I’m writing this.

Stage 1: It was a time trial. It was on a road with some up hill and some downhill too, which I enjoyed very much–the down hill part. But it did have a big ‘ol hill right from the gun which was pretty steep. It was also pretty humid. With about 2K to go I got passed by the guy who ended up getting 2nd. He had clip on aero bars, which were illegal for this race (Eddy Merckx style). I passed him back with 1K to go, and complained to the officials about him later, but he got away with it. Spencer’s race quote: “it was all right, nothing special, though.” Lang’s race quote: Nothing, because he’s not in the living room right now and I can’t be bothered to go ask him. I got a flat after my race was over and had to hitch hike twice to get home. Then Spencer and Lang and I drove the RR course for Sunday. Nothing else happened after that. Nothing at all. Especially not something like accidental car theft. That certainly did NOT happen.

Stage 1 9K time trial results:

Kennett Peterson 10th.
Spencer Smitheman 29th.
Lang Reynolds 45th.

Stage 2 was a bit longer. It was a circuit race. 75 miles, which felt really short since the last couple races I’ve done have been around 100 miles. With big mountains. This race did not have mountains, despite the race’s name (Green MOUNTAIN Stage Race). In fact, I haven’t seen any mountains whatsoever since I got to Vermont. Mainly just really tall hills. Stage 2 had a small hill. Using our highly-tuned race intellects that we’ve been sharpening for many months this year, Spencer, Lang, and I all attacked at least once on the down hill section in the first couple miles. For some reason, nothing stuck.

Later in the race other things happened. I got in a move before the first sprint points sprint. I got 4th in the sprint and was awarded 2 points. Then we got caught by the pack. A while later I followed wheels and closed a ton of gaps over the first KOM and also got 4th. I was awarded 0 points for that since the points only went 3 deep. But I did make the front group of the field split over the hill. It was a big move that had all the GC guys in it. I thought it would stick but I think Lang and Spencer were pulling really hard back in the field. Nah, just kidding. Whenever I was away Spencer and Lang covered moves and made sure to chop as many wheels as possible.

When we got brought back I attacked right away and got clear with another group before the 2nd sprint hot spot. I got 4th again. That’s three 4th’s in a row for those who’ve been keeping track. Our group got caught again after the sprint because the guys I was riding with were weak little cry babies.

There was a break up the road for the 2nd KOM so the pace was pretty chill that time (these are laps by the way. 3.75 laps in total). Another break slipped off the front somehow after that one I was just talking about was caught, so the 3rd sprint hot spot points were taken away and I didn’t get a chance to spring for 4th again.

Now came the last lap. I started out waaaay too far back on the KOM climb, despite Spencer pushing and yelling at me to move up a few miles earlier. Luckily I had the legs to close some gaps and make it over the top with 8 other guys. The 9 of us quickly caught the break of 5 that was up the road and that was the lasting move. 14 of us went to the finish line together about 15 miles later, with Reid Mumford attacking with 1K to go and holding it by half a wheel. I knew I should have gone with 1K or so to go like he did, but I wussed out and opted for the safe move by waiting for the sprint (as if sprinting against David Veilleux was a safe bet). Obviously that wasn’t the right choice. I felt great even at the end there, but ruined my chance at the win by being a damn wimp!

Spencer and Lang came across the line a little while later, safely in the main bunch. For dinner we had some delicious burgers compiled of pastrami/chicken/bison (or bizon if you ask Spencer). They were awesome. Then I had ice cream, chocolate banana bread and beer (I took a page out of the Book of Sam Johnson for that sage recovery meal). Spencer had almond butter and maple syrup on his banana bread (Robin made the deLISH banana bread by the way). Lang might have had some too but he probably didn’t REALLY need it. Then the power to our house went out (Spencer whimpered ever so slightly in fright). With no other option other than having a meaningful conversation, we sat around the dinner table with a candle and watched “I’m on a boat” on an iphone–multiple times.

Kennett Peterson 7th.
Spencer Smitheman 39th
Lang Reynolds 47th

Stage 3:

A 70 mile road race with 6,600 ft of climbing! That’s a lot of climbing in 70 miles! Plus it was like really really steep. A break got away after the first climb on the descent (go figure). I got in a move with four other guys at mile 15ish and we were joined by about 15 more guys, 5 miles later. So I sat on as the work horses in the front tried to pull back the 7 guys up the road. They did not go fast enough. 5 more guys bridged up to us to make our group 25 or 30. Then over the second big climb ANOTHER 5 or 6 guys caught us to make us 30 or 35! And then the rest of the field caught us to make our group 80 or 90 guys. That’s one BIG chase group!

By the numbers at this point in the race: we had been riding for 45 miles, I had taken 1 bad pee of the bike that got mostly on my hand, I had eaten roughly 6 hammer gels, Spencer had murmured lines from “I’m on a boat” 3 times (that I heard of), Lang had chopped 57 wheels, there was still a breakaway of 5 guys up the road, now with almost 4 minutes on us.

Onto the grand finale climb starting at mile 60: It was a combo of two climbs, actually, that lasted about 10 miles in total (including the downhill and flat sections which I know don’t qualify as climbs but I’m counting them anyways since they were hard).

Both Lang and Spencer kept me very close to the front and out of the wind throughout this whole ordeal. Spencer backed me up and hit a guy in the hip flexor after I yelled at him and pushed him for trying to chop my wheel and take my spot behind Ted King. Now that’s team work! The climbing here is really freakin steep and with 2 K to go I got popped from the lead 10 guys. Lang caught up to me a minute later and drilled it as hard as he could to keep me close, and with 500 meters to go I stood up for one final all out effort up the 20% grade and came across the line a groveling pile of lactic acid and misery. Lang followed right behind a few seconds later and Spencer just a few seconds after that.

Stage 3 results:

Kennett Peterson: 13th
Lang Reynolds: 16th
Spencer Smitheman: 17th

GC going into the stage 4 crit:

KP 9th
SS 16th
LR 17th

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