Monday, March 26, 2007

Mid Ohio Tour (road race #1)

The race to 3RD place.

Saturday was my first road race of the season at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course, newly repaved I might add. You never know what Mother Nature is going to dish out this early in the season and Saturday was no different. It rained all morning as a band of thunderstorms crashed through Ohio. It was grey skies and wet conditions come race start time around 1:00 but after the first couple minutes of water in your face you forgot about it. I think there were 30-40 guys in the cat 3-4 class. Steve and I were the only ones from the Solon squad in this division. Dustin entered his first road race in the cat 4-5 class. Steve and I were looking around and deciding who we were going to chase down & mark but as the race unfolded we ended up alternating chasing breaks. After a couple of laps Steve looked at me and said “dude - we can’t continue this for 25 laps” and he was right. We had to rely on the other teams to do a little work and hope a break did not form without one of us in it. To make a long story short, Steve and I ended up doing our fair share of the work upfront chasing down and jumping in the breaks, but that was also shared with Stark Velo, Team Echelon and a few other guys. Nobody got away.

I’ll spare ya the lap by lap details. As we entered the last couple of laps, I was not sure how my legs would respond to last weeks training efforts in NC- climbing Mt. Mitchell and riding Pisqah. But I was looking for a good workout and I got it. The last couple laps came and went, Steve & I stayed up front and tried to rest a bit. On the last lap I inched towards the front after the s-turn and waited to see who my dancing partners were going to be. Then on the hill before the last turn into the straight away the attack began. I thought this might be a bit early, but I didn’t want to let this one slip away and jumped in. I was third as we entered the headwind on the straight away to the finish line. Then someone in front of me totally sat up, spent their legs, I went to go around them but whoever was behind me blocked me in and I touched the breaks to avoid the rider and waited for him to get to the side, I then stomped down and caught the guy that passed me and got in his slipstream, then he completely sat up. I could not believe it. This was the most inefficient sprint effort I have ever done. I sure know how to pick em! So after losing momentum for the second time and the finish line somewhere in front of me I stood up and hammered down one last time and did what I could. I had the energy when I crossed the finish line but I feel I let this one slip away from lack of experience in road racing. That's the way it goes - but it was fun non-the-less. I ended up in Third place. Steve took 8th place. This was only the second time on my new road bike – Specialized SW Roubaix. It took me a few laps to adjust to the cockpit, but then she fit like a glove and everything melted together for the perfect blend. The tires hooked up on the wet course and the bike responded to everything I threw at it.

Stark Velo rider Scott Thor has another review of the race here.

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