I’ve waited a solid nine hours before writing anything about this race because I didn’t want to say anything too negative or derogatory. As you can see, I refrained from saying fuck up there in the title by replacing three of the letters with symbols. For some reason this is sociably acceptable even though everyone obviously realizes the exact swear word I mean. In fact, I’m sure you even read that swear word “aloud” in your head so I really don’t see the point of not spelling it out.
You see, I’m slightly pissed off about the outcome of the day’s race. Not winning was of course my own fault, though I’ll never admit it. The race was over in the first two miles of the un-neutralized section. Shut up auto correct that’s a word. It’s gotta hemi. I mean a hyphen. Anyways, Hagens Berman rider and ex-teammate Steve Fisher decided to attack early on the
climb bump heading out to the circuits. I was told by literally almost everyone that a large breakaway would go early and stay away like last year, and I assumed they meant it would go early on the first lap, not early as in two miles into the god damn mother fuck#ing race. Dag nab it Steve! Steve went on to win the sprinter’s jersey, young rider’s jersey, AND got 4th place. I went on to ride off the front in no-man’s land, furious and hellbent on seeking revenge with a 10th place on the day, which would be respectable by most people’s standards. But, I’ve developed a HUGE ego this past year for some odd reason and 10th may as well have been 100th.
As my loyal readers are well aware, this last 103-mile race (a UCI 1.2 mind you) has been my life’s goal for the past six weeks. It’s the last opportunity of the year to become world-famous and get a pro contract and earn between zero and upwards of $6,000 a year. I could have done it. I had the legs, just not the positioning or the brains. A stupid excuse I know. But what the hell is up with all these weak ass punks opening up gaps in the first two miles of a race? Seriously get the hell out of my way. Then, when it was obviously a dangerous move of 18 guys, the one pro team that only had one guy in the move, and the only team left in the race with the man-power to close it down on the first lap, just sat back and did a few measly attacks. Measly attacks are for amateurs, like me. And that’s what I did.
Eight miles into the race I pulled from top to bottom on the KOM (not that impressive it’s only three minutes) the first time up and reduced the gap to 20 seconds from 45. The field sat up at the top. The gap went up to over a minute in like half a mile. That was that. Race over. I attacked again on the third climb of the lap. Got away briefly and bridged to some other guys in-between. Got caught. It was super negative, unaggressive racing. Everyone seemed content to let the breakaway win. My temper rose.
I went again on the KOM climb the second lap and gapped everyone off at the top because they didn’t want to ride hard. I sat in for a while and attacked again on the third climb of that lap once again, which isn’t steep or that hard. The attack wasn’t hard either but at least it spurred some counters that got things going for the next couple miles.
Again, I attacked on the KOM. Actually on the descent before it. Jesse Anthony of Optum and Cameron Coqburn of CCB bridged to me near the top and drilled it. I looked back as we descended the un-steep descent and it appeared that we were caught. On second glance it turned out to be a huge split of like 18 riders. This was it! I got super excited and yelled to the front to work hard as I drifted to the back to sit on. A free ride to the front of the race! My laziness was short-lived and the move quickly fell apart due to a bunch of lazy riders sitting on and not cooperating.
I attacked when things were hard at the top of the second climb later on that lap. I got away by myself, just pissing into the wind with my mouth wide open in a shit I mean piss drinking grin. I got caught at the sprint line like 15 minutes later. Finally, and for the last time, I went hard near the top of the KOM on the start of lap number four, caught and passed a guy who had just attacked before me, and the two of us crested the top with a nice gap. We pegged it hard for that entire lap and cut the breakaway’s time in half, getting to within 1:30. That was the best we would do.
The gap went up again, back to two minutes for most of the rest of the race. He and I (I don’t know his name but he was Canadian because I heard him say “eh” once. And he also apologized quite a bit too. Just kidding.) kept the pace pretty hard for laps five and six, but never had a chance to bridge up to the winning move. We just needed one more guy.
He started suffering pretty bad in the final 10 miles and I took over most of the wind-breaking. The moto official kept telling us we had 1:20 the field and 2:30 to the leaders, but I didn’t want to slow down despite my Canadian friend’s pleads. I was worried the peloton would ramp the pace up in the finale when it got all excited about sprinting for 10th place. I still had heaps and heaps in my legs and was content to continue drilling it.
The last 3K had some steep little kickers and I went a bit too hard after one of them and dropped my break-mate on the flat section after it. I was just about to slow down a bit and wait for him since I thought it would be nice to ride in together but right then the moto official drove up and told me the field was at 50 seconds and a loan rider was lurking at just 35. Having ridden the finish the day before, I knew that the last couple kilometers were difficult with a short, steep kicker and a slightly false flat section into a likely head wind. Fresher legs in the peloton that hadn’t been riding in the wind for 70 miles could make up half a minute in no time on a finish like that so I put my head back down and ripped it to the end.
I came within just five seconds of catching one more guy from the breakaway (they’d been popping off all day long) but didn’t quite manage it and, like I said, came in at 10th place, 2:16 down on the winning group of four and 1:10 on the next group of four since I guess the break spilt on that last lap.
I felt like a monster today and I swear it isn’t just my bravado speaking when I claim I could have been in the mix for the win. I’m just a very stupid, stupid person though! Just a dumb brute. A dumb missile if you will. An imbecile. A simpleton. A slow thinker. A “special little guy” as they might say. A god damn idiot. The picture says it best.
The crit is tomorrow. I don’t care.
Photo courtesy of Allen Schmitz. Post race, pre swallow. That sounds wrong.
My team for the weekend was Batley Ducati. I had five teammates who were a pleasure to race with. I talk a lot of trash but in reality I had a good time and dang what a nice race this is! Great support, good crowds, and very well run. This one better not go away. Also, we’ve had some of the finest hosts EVER with Anna and Ian on Easthill Drive. I’ll be obese in three days time if they keep feeding us like they have been.
Sorry for all the swear words Grandma!
Best picture and caption ever from Cyclingnews: “Thoroughbreds taking a break to watch other thoroughbreds”
That’s a good boy!