Sunday, September 9, 2007

Fall Challenge, Dead Legs Fred

This could be one long post, but I'll keep it as short as I can. A lot happened in the space of 50 miles today and thats why it could bloat. Its 8pm now and my legs are fried. It hurts to walk and my internals are all scrwed up. Fun-eh? Yes it is. I love bike racing!!

Rain it did and the start was brisk. I was near the back which is odd for me and I was getting nervous as I missed Batke going after an RGF and Thom Domonic bridging. I wanted to go in that move, but I was completely boxed in. But with Quinlan and so many others in the field, the race was far from over.

Up Quick the first time I went around Tris and Brent Evans (my coach) and set a comfortable tempo. The first lap is a bit of a blur, but I recall team tactics being played out as Color Me Safe and Torelli and RGF didnt have to chase. It was a bit early, but John E, myself and Dan would take some turns on the front. SOme other teams were near the front, but not really aiding the effort.

At some point Kirk Albers attacked and I took off with Brent, Tris, Jeremy and Dan Quinlan in tow. Maybe someone else-but those were the main guys. Again I was psyched as this was a solid move with race long potential. The RGF guy popped ahead while Brian and Thom kept a gap. Mostly it was up to Dan and I to do all the work in the split so we did. I was pretty active and when he hit Quick again I noticed Chernosky (the fastets sprinter in the race) had soloed up to us. Dan went up Quick fast and I got popped. I was really mad at myself, but calm. I new race over, but I wasnt going to give up. I dont know why my legs wouldnt respond then, but they didnt. They were onfire and there was no more rpm in them.

So back in the mainfield I dropped and we chased for the entire lap. My Snake Bite teammate John Ehrlinger really shined. He was teling me to draft and recover and I would and he was pulling and encouraging other riders to help. he in a word was impressive! His form is coming on strong and Ive never seen him ride like he did today. Against his well I would recover, pull hard and recover. I know that catching a break is hard and even more so when only 3 guys are doing the work so I kept working.

The next lap (maybe 4th of 5) we got slowed bigtime by the wheel truck helping Jeremy Grimm who had flatted. the guy parked it in the middle of the road!! brent told me the split (which had now come back together) also got slowed twice. Once as Dan fell and another behind slow traffic. Regardless thats racing and it was unfortunate for them, but good for us. Also I was chasing hard as were some other guys (a guy form Spin, John E, Jeremy,Josh Halvax) so we put ourselves in a position to capitolize on some luck and I am proud of that. Usually the pack gives up and loses minutes, but we never did.

Up Quick I almost bridged that lap as I attacked onto Akron Peninsula to close the final meters. But we kept them close the whole way up Quick this time and when we got around to Steels Corners road Jeremy kicked it hard and brought us across-FINALLY. We slowed and cat and mouse ensued. Up Quick for the last time and no one attacked. I set tempo over the top hoping to thwart any attacks. As we neared the line I tried to remember landmarks and with 3/4 of a mile to go I put in my hail mary pass.

I drilled it over a short rise and down. But alas there was still one longer roller to the school and I blew up hardcore on it. Stick a knife in my legs-they are Done!! First came Jeremy and Josh then everyone else. I looked back and no stragglers were going to come by so I just rolled in and got a suprise 10th for my efforts.

A quick note, the emotions today was the real action for me. Excitement, aggravation, feeling proud of John, the high of chasing, chasing and more chasing and the
never ending battle of telling yourself that "you can DO it", keep pushing. I wish I could touch on that more than the physical action, but maybe tonight I am just too tired.

It was another race played out well by the teams. Torelli and Color Me Safe and RGF got guys up the road early so they got to sit in. That left MVC, SBR to do the brunt of the chasing and we did. I had a blast in the rain today. Not optimal to get dropped out of a winning split, but hey, it happens. And what a way to bring to close the road racing calender for 2007 with an exciting and action packed rainy race!!


JC's said...

Great race!

Ray Huang said...

It was filled with action. John E and I were still talking about it last night. Too bad I wrote such a lousy race report for it.