Last two weekends-Finally

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Ok-I’ve been spending a fair amount of time trying to ride the Tour of Missouri. My only option would be on the US National Developement Team. I know I have no permanent place there. I thought that I’d paid my dues with USA Cycling and I could wiggle a spot for my “local” race. Anyway, that didn’t work out. So, up to Chequamegon for me. I’ve riden my MTB bike twice this week. And my crotch is rebelling seriously. Should be interesting.

Backing up to Sedalia and Otterville, MO races. Sedalia is a awesome night time criterium in downtown Sedalia. Held in conjunction with a motorcycle ralley down the street. The air is questionable by the time we start because of all the smoke from the “cyclists” peeling out and doing doughnuts in the intersections.

Anyway, the race is at 9 or 9:30 pm. An hour race. 4 corner rectangle. Up and down a slight hill. There were about 35-40 guys in the 1-2 race. Almost immediately from the gun, I got off the front after a prime. Within a lap, Brian (Jensen) bridged up and a couple laps later, Shad (Smith) came. Then we proceeded to do a three man TTT until we lapped the field. Brian was killing it on the downhill and it was all Shad and I could do to hold on.

After lapping the field, Brian took off again and took Bill (Stolte) with him, so it was a 1-2-3-4 finish for us, with Brian winning, me 2nd, and then Shad and Bill.

We were eating dinner at Perkins at 12:30pm, dreading the 9am start for the Otterville Road Race. It was 74 miles, 3 loops of 24.something miles. Hilly miles. And it was hot.

Same thing again. Almost instantly I found myself off the front with Adam (Mills). We were going just OK, but there was alot of hot riding to go. After about half a lap we saw that Brian was coming up. We waited, and he caught quick. After just a couple more miles, I hit a pothole on a descent and flatted my front tire. The follow van was behind the field which was a ways back. I got a pretty slow wheel change and chased/motor paced/chased so more until I got back on to the field. I caught right at the end of the first lap, which started the hilly section. There was a pretty good rotation going at the front with about 8 guys taking turns. I thought I’d attack a couple times to break up the chase, but next thing I know, I’m off the front with Bill and a Dent Wizard rider. Adam and Brian wait up, the Dent Wizard guy conceeds and we do a 5 man TTT for the next 48 miles. Long story short, we all kind of fall apart towards the end, but end up 1-2-3-4 with me winning, Brian 2nd, Adam 3rd and Bill 4th again for the second day in a row. There was a public pool at the finish line which the cyclists took over and it was sooo refreshing.

Labor Day. This is getting kind of long, but the Labor Day races in St. Louis are some on the funniest races I do. 4 criteriums. The first one is at 9:30pm, then the next three are pretty challenging with small hills.

Nothing seemed to go that great, but we rode pretty good as a team. We all seemed to have super bad allergies or maybe we just all got sick after a couple days. Whatever the reason, it was kind of a struggle all the days. I broke a spoke in the sprint the first night and went around the last corner in 2nd, on Brian’s wheel, and ended up 10th. Dan Smatz was smearing us whenever it came down to a sprint. I wasn’t even close. I finished 4th the next two days, and on the final day, Brian finally won. And he had to really work to win. He was riding pretty badly and spent the majority of the race off the front with 3 others. He attacked them with a lap and a half to go and finished alone. I won the field sprint after getting a half a lap leadout from Smatz. I think he wanted to stay out of trouble with the Tour of Missouri coming up.

So, Dan Smatz won overall. Brian was 3rd and I was 5th. Josh Carter and Jeff Hartman were 2nd and 4th. Pretty hard racing and fun venues.

I ran a couple times in the mean time and am trying to get ready for sinus surgery or cyclo-x. Which ever comes first. I’m planning on doing both races in Las Vegas during Interbike. A UCI cyclo-x on Wednesday night and then the Criterium “World Championships” on Thursday night. Should be a good time. OK. That’s it for now. Photo-One room for 5 hours of sleep between races. Podium from St. Louis.