The one time a year when the midwesterner gets to try their hand at a spring classic of their own. This was my first crack at Hillsboro Roubaix and the race didn't disappoint. With massive fields (100+), a great course and weather, and organized race directing there was nothing more i could have asked for... except for maybe 1 thing, but i'll get to that in a minute. The cat 3 race was three 22 mile laps on a mostly open, flat and narrow course until the last mile or two of each lap which consisted of 2 hills and brick pavement.
My plan was to stay up because I had heard it was a hard course to move up in the field and with the winds you didnt want to be "stuck" when the field split. I don't remember exactly when but roughly half way through the first lap a break was attempted with about 10 guys, unfortunately no get a grip representation. As the group was riding, up the road stood an official with his palm up telling the field to stop. "This is your last warning" he said, "no one over the yellow line." There was no yellow line and the road was 10 feet ride so this made the rule hard to enforce. The important thing is that with the officials decision he essentially solidified the break that was a few seconds up the road to one that was now 30 seconds or more ahead. This happened two more times for two different reasons, passing the masters field and a truck and trailer sitting at a stop sign on our side of the road.
I got into two failed break attempts and wore myself out pretty good. On the third lap Aspen got away with Luke (XxX)and another guy (???) and managed to put a lot of time into the leaders in a short time even catching some stragglers from the break but nonetheless coming up about a half of minute behind at the finish line, he took 9th. So yeah the thing i could have asked for is if just one of those "official stops" had not occured with the break still rolling at full speed maybe Aspen would have had a chance at the overall, oh well what can you do. Padfield spent 15 minutes on lap 2 (the fastest lap) catching back on after a mechanical... absolutely insane! Even after all that work he put in some hard digs on the final lap. Uwe also finished the race, something that judging by the results was hard enough on its own. Coming into the final hills I stayed on the left to move up the hill fast and stay with the front group. Going over the cobbles and on the finishing straight I got lucky and picked some good wheels and took the field sprint for 12th place. Even though we had only 1 top 10, overall I would call the race a success as it was our first time racing together.
oh one more thing, caad frames are crazy stiff. my ass still hurts from that thing (no jokes... its too easy)