|A windy 'Murica|
A 31 mile loop with 4 turns headed north, turn to east, then 15 miles of hell with turns to the south, then west for an uphill finish into the wind. This is a rolling course with mild hills, and a finishing 2 miles that could rival the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix.
I had spoken with some other racers upon our arrival who had completed the race earlier and gotten a good heads up of what to come. It was my feeling that the group would hit the gas and not let off until the 3rd turn of the race hoping by then they had a small break. A small group working together in the winds could get away leaving the bigger pack fighting to organize and catch them and most likely not being able to do so. Well this strategy did get employed in our race.
As soon as the group rolled past the neutral line someone stomped on the gas pedal. With the wind at our backs we were cruising at 30mph and I found myself pedaling with relative ease. I had made sure Connor was up ahead and looking to make the front group. I was going to sit back in the pack save myself for the headwind and work my way to him eventually. Well, remember what I said about his gearing, at 30+ mph he is out of gears and unable to make life easier by shifting, he had to spin his legs at over 125 rpms for 10 miles or so. While in contrast I am pedaling easy at 90rpm or not pedaling at all. About 4 miles in I could see the break forming and there were 3 groups beginning to take shape. I found myself in the 3rd group and quickly made a move to the second pack. I found Connor in the 2nd pack and could see he was spinning to stay but looked strong.
I moved to the front of the pack to slow the effort a tad. A lot of energy was being used to try and catch the break and I knew that most, if not all of them, would come back with the winds we would be turning into soon. Controlling a pace can be difficult but I think the riders were happy to slow a bit from 30 mph to 27 mph. I found another rider to share some of the work with and he agreed to work to keep the pace steady. Our group was about 25 riders with about 10 riders off the front and about 10 riders off the back in the 3rd group. For the first 10 miles 3 to 4 riders in our group worked to keep pace and I did my best to make sure Connor did not work at all and stayed on my wheel.
|Post race smiles|
|The sign of a good race|
|Just a couple of turkeys|