Monday, July 13, 2009

Sunday, 10th in GC, One more to go.

I did as I did every morning and got my hug from Erin and said good morning to the crew. Slathered on the sun block, again, aired up the tubies (sweeett!!) again and suited up again.

I come up on Matt and Shawn on the street and they tell me I am the GC leader on Carbon and I need to attack, be a crit rider today and get in a break. Wow, some pressure to perform well and this time its not from myself. I usually get yelled at for not closing a gap or not not going in the right attack. This is weird and I am kind of closing into myself because I need ot do this. The way points work in this race a good finish can move you up form 10th to 5th just like that. Since I already had 14, a top 5 would be huge.

I did a few laps and dare I say it the legs felt good. I did a few laps wanting to be warmed up, but not do any hard efforts. I did one more lap and darn, everyones lined up. The course was super fast, easy technically, but the start finish was narrow and I wanted a front row start.

We get going and its not a brutally fast start and I am not too badly positioned. But once again I find myself at the back. Damn. It gets fast and I am like evryone else gunning it, trying to recover and going again. I am on Paul's wheel then I move to the front, get swarmed, get shuffled back and then tail gun.

This goes on then I follow accelerations along the back straight and get to midfield with Shawn and Rudy (who raced with us in the Pro 1,2 field this week-Thanks Rudy). I am not having problems giving up wheels (speed is not an issue for me-I love going fast and leaning my bike) today and I am finding ways to out maneuver guys into and pass guys on the outside between corners. But the main theory I had from Friday was I was not accelerating hard enough (big duh) so in Youngstown I made sure my first few pedal strokes were hard, like a stomp and now I wasnt opening that 3' out of the corners that took 20' to close back up.

A break is up the road now and I dont see Paul and its gaining time so I know I missed my opportunity. But I am not good at getting position and keeping it right away. I'll work on it if I do anymore big crits this summer. I get in a break with Beizer from JJ who is in the yellow, but I know it wont stay so I dont work. I come back tired and fade to midfield. Then I finally get mad enough.

I come on the back straight and go from the middle of the pack straight to the front on the inside and atack once, but I dont get far. Then Cioccio moves up and I follow him up and he attacks. Moskal goes and I rub my brakes to get untrapped come out and bridge up. It takes me too long and I think I may not make it, but I get them in the corners. But then bib#6 Burke from Lathrup/Giant who is 2nd in GC moves up and now were doomed again. But I finaly get to see more than asses and lead the race across the start finish line.

I attack one more time and its as pathetic as the ones before and JJ crew who was controlling the front the whole end of the race probably doesnt even need to change speed to close it up. Now its 4 to go, I see Tom Frueh moves up, but I am not close enough get a points position.

They ring the bell and I take stock of all my team mates. Some are moving back and some I pass as I say, what the heck, let see what its like at the front of one of these crazy sprints. I dive under some guys and pedal past on the outside of a few. I am having fun. But I only make it to about midfield and when we make the final left and hand turn a lot of guys sprint inluding myself. I go then sit-up, then go what the heck and put my head down and pass a few guys (just for shits and giggles) and cross the line finishing the Tour of the Valley 2009!!

Turns out I lost one position on GC and came in 11th. Haruumph. Maybe if I got mad at myself sooner and got my ass in gear on lap 1 I at least would have had a fighting chance of making a break and getting some points. But its not like I am unhappy with 11th. I just wish we had capitolized on Friday morning having Matt in 3rd, Brian in 6th and myself in 10th. And sure I can go on and on about blunders I made, but all the teams and riders had them.

But I think I will prefer to try and remember I got 10th in the prologue, 6th in the road race and finished two fast crits with crit riders who know how to make a race hard. And did two events on no sleep and the hardest on very little sleep. I also did what I always do and analyzed the crits and decided areas that I could control and be better at and Sunday, althoug it took 20 minutes I DID as promised and got my ass to the front and started attacking in a mother fricken Criterium. And not a training crit or a Cat.4, but a Pro 1,2. Maybe not Twilight, but guys who have done Twilight said they were tough, fast crits.

And I also got to be a part of one heck of a well run first year event. We were told that some big races which have gone on for years or decades have never run as smoothly as what Dan, Erin, Sam and the Carbon Racing Team pulled off in their first year and only 2nd time organizing an event (I won the first one last summer and it too was well run). And not surprising that race also had a whicked hard road course. So many more important people to thank, but as always I am scared of leavibng out someone so Thanks to Everyone!!!

I cannot wait for 2010!! Whew, now I need another short break (one day) from cycling and from blogging.

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