Hello to you and good day sirs and madams. Madamses. Madmoizelles? Madmoizelleses. There we go. I’m here in central California, enjoying some warm sunshine, beautiful blooming almond blossoms, and a four-day stage race. Envious? No? How bout if I told you I ate a free continental breakfast across the street at the Hampton Inn? Still not impressed? How bout if I told you that after the race I made off with six bottles of Muscle Milk, six Cliff bars, three bananas, two bottles of juice, two oranges, a handful of candy, and one bag of pork skins? (I lied. I didn’t take the pork skins because I’m on a diet).
Well if you’re still unimpressed then you must be a pretty damn content SOB and I want nothing to do with someone as self-assured and proud as you, you posh jerk. I hope you drive off an overpass and land 40 feet below on a freeway, legs crushed, upside down in your seat and unable to save yourself as you frantically try to undo your seatbelt before a careening semi truck comes flipping in the air towards you and your entire too-good-to-be-true life goes fleeting from your mind and you can only think of how you missed out on what you really wanted to do in your short time upon this earth: race the Merco Cycling Classic–but now you can’t because in just a split second you’ll be fully paralyzed and in a coma, unable to even feed yourself and pooping in a diaper for the next 60 years because your family is incredibly religious and doesn’t believe in self-assisted suicide. Yeah I just wished that upon you and I meant it too.
Today’s opening road race was long, hard, aggressive and I raced smart and conservatively. Just kidding! It was all of those things except minus all of those things. The race consisted of six laps with a five minute climb that we tackled…wait for it…six times. Wow, compelling writing I know. The first time up the climb the group split into at least three pieces. I was in the third group, having started way too far back. I didn’t panic or help pull things back together. I was super lazy. Luckily it all came back together, except six or seven guys who stayed off the front and won.
The second lap: I forget what happened. I think I attacked after the climb or something stupid like that.
The third lap: I attacked on and after the climb as well. I can’t remember what else happend. It was like six hours ago.
The fourth/fifth lap: I got off the front with one other guy and believed that we were in the lead, the peloton having caught the breakaway up the climb. This was not true. I think we’d caught some of them but the rest was up the road.
My breakaway friend and I got reeled in by a strong chase group, with Ben JM smashing 500 something watts the entire way up the climb. He dropped all of us. Then he bridged across to the breakaway after the descent. Then he ate THREE WHOLE Little Caesar’s Hot N’ Ready pepperoni pizzas and immediately chugged a bottle of Ipecac. That guy will do anything for a Klondike bar!
After I’d been caught by the peloton I realized that the breakaway was still away. I wished that I’d gone harder on the climb and stuck with Ben, though I doubt I could have even if I’d known that he wasn’t just riding hard for the KOM points and that there was a purpose to his madness. I, for one, rarely have a purpose to my madness so it’s sometimes difficult for me to imagine that others might.
The final lap’s climb was easy again. CashCal had been chasing all day, hoping to bring things in for a field sprint. But with a lot of serious fire power up in the move, they sadly failed. Poor fulahs. Anyways, with 2K to go someone made an oopsy daisy and down he went, taking half a dozen others with him. I managed to survive, unclipping and doing a circus routine to hurtle myself and my bike over some unfortunate souls (Ian?) as tumbling bikes and bodies banged off my shins. I got back on, did an effort to regain contact with some other lucky guys who didn’t die, then wondered if we’d get the same time as the 15 or 20 that hadn’t crashed or been held up by it.
The answer was no. We were not given the same time, despite the crash occurring within 3km to go and despite the rule that states that we should be given the same time. Edited. They fixed the results.
Oh well. Doesn’t even matter because the guy who won was up the road by over a minute. Phil Gaimon et all crushed it today. Anyways I was 36th or so out of the 150 starters, meaning I got a D-. I also got a D- in fractions and percentiles back in elementary school.
After finishing I complained to an official that there should have been neutral water for an 82 mile road race, then cut myself short as I noticed the PALLETS of free food and drink sitting off the side of the road for the taking. Then me and David, a friend with whom I’m driving and rooming at the lovely Motel 6, went and jumped in a cold lake. The end.
Here’s a picture of a lake:
Here’s another sweet picture of the race:
Thanks Cyclingnews! Click the link for pictures and results and possibly the official race report later in the day.