Thursday, July 16, 2009

Unprepared to win

pic by John Wilke

Today I raced the Lakefront Road Race, superweek's 7th race. Usually I'm a little unorganized going into races but today was really over the top. I left my house and 9 and got to the race in plenty of time... so far so good. When I got there I realized I didn't have cash so I had to pay by check, extra fee = $46 to race. I forgot socks so I raced without any (gross), I had a flat front tire so I went to the neutral start to be told like a 5 year old to bring a tube until they finally felt bad enough for me and helped me out. I thought it was a crit so I brought only 2 gels and a skinsuit, and to top it all off I had only 3 hours of sleep. Not too condusive to having a good race... but somehow it worked.

The course was a 2.2 mile lap which we did 23 times totaling 50 miles. It started with a 30 second winding climb then at the top it took a near 180 and was fairly flat with a slight rise to the downhill which was snaking and technical to a 90 at the bottom where the wind hit you in the face for the long finishing straight. The race started off fairly easy with a lot of people attempting to break away but nothing stuck. With 18 laps to go 3 guys got up the road and got themselves a 35 second lead. I knew the break had a chance as nobody was chasing it so the next time on the climb I attacked hoping to get a couple guys to come with to bridge up... nothing. I was in no mans land 10 seconds ahead of the break and still too far to bridge solo. I didn't care anymore so I just went for the break. After 2 laps of chasing, slowly but surely I caught one guy from the break who was just dropped and we worked together for a few pulls. As the 2 leaders were only 10 seconds away on the hill I gave it a good push leaving the guy behind and I soon caught them. After a short rest I jumped in the rotation and the 3 of us worked really well together.

For the 17 remaining laps it was probably as close to sharing an equal workload as you could have asked for. We all knew our strengths and pulled hard on different spots on the course to keep our gap. The peleton got close at one point and after that effort the gap started growing again up to almost 2 minutes. There were attempts off the front but nobody caught us so we went to the line together. I knew I had a decent sprint as long as there wasnt a pure sprinter in the group so I took off at about 150 meters and when I looked up I was the first one accross the line!