Sunday, May 24, 2009

Tour De Frankenmuth

Thank you to Derek and the the boys for hgauling my crap to TdF for me. Scott and I arrived and went to dinner at the Black Forrest brewery and had some killer beers before retiring to watch the Cav's lose then win the 2nd game of the Eastern Confernce Finals. Late night and after closing my eyes I didnt seem to sleep much, but when the alarm went off at 6am I was ready.

But I warmed up in cold temps and rain at about 7:20am. 77 miles in a pretty big Pro 1,2 field in the rain.... Actually no problem its a road race not a crit! Tris, Brian and I outfitted in our new Carbon uniforms started off tame enough, but Brian and I were laying down attacks and going in move after move. I was feeling great and knew going in anything over 50 miles usually plays to my strengths so I did NOT want to miss the key move again. So I rode aggressive and shot my Gu's and didnt worry about the length of the race.

After going in a few moves one after another we got Brian up the road in a break of two (I felt bad for the other guy!!) and for 44 minutes they maintained a 45 to 1 minute gap. Eventually some of the Michigan teams (Essex Brass?, Wolverine Trek, Bisssel Masters and Priority Health) brought it back and then we all started attacking, going in move after move. Tris, Brian and I were in about every single move if we didnt attack ourselves. Not bad for 3 Cleveland homies vs. bigger teams. If your wondering we were representin' for Ohio-Big f'n time!!

Then Brian and I found ourselves in a key move with every team represented and about 7 of us (paying 12 spots). I found I could pull hard and had plenty of time to recover, but also realized Bissel was not working and others were lame ducks. WTF!! Half way through a race with 7 guys and a big gap. To me thats a break worth working for. I told Brian Bissel is not working so he stopped working. We were finally caught as we all realized that althugh this break was gold, it was not destined to stay.

Then I flatted and watched as it seemed a hundred guys rolled past with my arm raised. I pulled over and pulled my rear wheel out and the wheel truck pulled Batke's wheel for me and I screwed up twice trying ot get it in and finally got rolling with the expected crappy shifting!! Why? It was a Campy 9 speed wheel on my 10 speed SRAM bike!! But I learned quickly what gears worked and how many shifts it took to make it work. Still there were some very ugly sounds coming form my bike the next hour!!

I eventually caught a napping pack that was kind enough to be spread across the road the whole chase. ONce back in a I said hi to Brent Evans of Spin and Tris and got back to going in attack after attack. Brent was racing great and coming across gaps like me or attacking. I couldnt attack with brian up the road, but Brent kepit it aggressive. Also when I arrived back 6 guys (inlcuding Brian of course) were up the road. I could see the bright green outfit and shoe covers and knew right away we had representation in the break. Sadly i was not in there too.

But after a bunch of short lived attacks went I finally saw a move with just 4 guys move ahead and I quickly sprinted across and we pulled through a few times then two guys started sitting up and I looked back. BIG gap. I told them weve got the gap, lets go. These guys knew how to ride a smooth paceline and we grew the gap.

Out of one corner the Saturn of Toledo rider intentionally rearranged the rotation (I assume to not come off of my little draft), but we kept going untill the very dwindled pack started to close. I told them we needed to step it up and we went a bit harder. When we hit the smooth road we had opened the gap and it looked like we could hold it to the line.

Through the 31 to 35mph feedzone and make the left towards the last couple of corners and finally the games started. But I let myself come through the slight uphill to the last left hander to S. Main street downhill first wheel. The Bissel rider in our group launched way to my left and I gunned it to close the gap. I passed 2 guys and then had to dig super deep to get the 3rd guys as we felw to the finish line. The Bissel missle was flying, but I took 2nd in our group of 5!!

Ive been working on my sprint and was happy to get to use it. Up front Brian was in a break of 6 guys so I was 8th overall. Well in the money. Brian had to stay vigilant because Priority Health had two guys in the break and started sending attacks and after Brian's 44 minute breakaway early he knew he was running low on power. But they got to the end and Brian attacked and almost made it to the line and only one Priority Health rider nipped him by 0.2 seconds. Carbon racing took 2nd and 8th!!

I felt great and it was awesome to race a long, windy road race and come away with a solid team race and some results. I also had to avoid a downed rider in the feed zone that involved locking up my rear so I could slide it around his bike!! What an adreneline rush!!

So much more to tell about the race, but thats it for today. Looking forward to Westlake Tuesday and the Spin Willoughby Bike Shop hammerfest Wednesday night. Then I hope to do a time trial Thursday.

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