I’m still under the weather, but find it nearly impossible to pass up the Tulsa weekend. Three races. Minimum 6K to win. 25 deep. But, the Toyota-United Team decided to come and cherry pick, which I knew would make the race frustrating at best. They are more than cherry picking here. They have 9 guys, over 10% of the field. I estimated yesterday before the race that they would win nearly 50K here over the three days. So far, I’m right on target. I’m not sure what the promoter or Toyota was thinking. It is overkill. It makes the race nearly a joke. But, not funny. They lined it up with 5 laps to go, after lapping the field with 3 guys. It was nearly impossible moving up. The last two laps were pretty incredibly fast. I only passed two guys, one a lap. It was Toyota 1-2-3, then 6-7-8. Only 6 of the top 8 places. I was 17th. Probably could of finished 13th if I was having a good day!!!! No control of anything here. I could race the master’s race the next couple days and win a bunch of money. But, I’m not much into races masters races. So, I’ll probably just keep status quo and watch the PRO race from within.
It seems like the Memorial Weekend was short because of no road race on Friday nite. Saturday was Muscatine. It is a mile long with a long gradual climb and descent. It was the first hot day of the season for just about everyone there. And it was only in the mid 80’s. Guezz, wait a couple more weeks. I think that was the main reason that the race seemed so slow, but relatively hard for the speed. I was pitiful, but in comparison to the rest of the field, wasn’t too bad. But, it came down to a field sprint. I jacked it up and had to come from way back the last 300 meters up the hill. I got to the right hand U-turn it way too big a gear and slightly out of control. Dove the corner into 3rd place and proceeded to slug the gear to the line to finish 5th. I probably could of cut the apex and chopped Alex Boyd and Cole House and finished third, but I already felt a little bad about chopping them already once 50 meters before.
Rock Island is Monday and a tight 8 corner race on a .75 mile course. It was pretty windy. The wind swirls because it is in a downtown area. The race was weird. Kind of like the day before. Seemed like no one had the energy to go after the gap was established. I thought for sure a group get away, but it came down to everyone being together with 8 to go.
That is when the silliness began. Three teams tried to start their leadouts, but never started. ABD, Grand Performance and Texas Road House all had the same plan. I’m not sure what the plan was for any of them, but no one wanted to take control and put the effort in. So, something like 25 guys are mulling around the front of a 8 corner criterium and only going 27mph. Needless to say, it was kind of stressful for everyone involved.
So, finally on the last lap, Texas Road House did a 800 meter leadout that got all jacked up. I was 20 or so back and got myself into a pretty good positive with 1/2 a lap to go. I thought I’d hooked up with my team mate Derek Georke at the perfect place. We got our signals crossed abit. By the time I figured out he wasn’t going to do what I had anticipated, the sprint was over. I came around the last two corners in 3rd and finished 3rd. You have to be leading there. Derick finish 4th. Pretty embarrassing for me having two guys in the top 5 and not win. But, it could of been worse. You never know how those things are going to turn out.
Bicycle racing is so strange. If everything went perfect, I could of won both the last two races and I’m riding like shit. Eric Marcotte did win the last two races. He might be riding great. He might be riding horrible. He seems to be going OK judging by his Snake Alley finish. Anyway, my point is, in this sport, the strongest guy doesn’t always win. It’s an organism of its own. So many different variables in such a short period, at the end of the race, make it frustrating and exciting at the same time. That is where the knowledge kicks in. Trying to use past experiences to rule out things that will destroy your chances. But, it doesn’t always work. Kind of fun. Really.
I’ve been having some “issues”. I’ve slept very little the last 4 nights. And had two surgical procedures. So 19th was better than I desired and the worst place I’ve ever placed. I’ll probably try to explain more later, but I don’t have the words to adequately/appropriately disclosed the problems. It will involve alittle personal sharing on my part that I’m not comfortable with right now. Hint: Eddie B was right when he said don’t sit on cold concrete.
On a more positive note-a big congratulations to Dewey Dickey for winning the PRO race here. He has been riding this race for a couple decades and has come so close to many times. According to Brian (Jensen) 2nd, Dewey was crazy strong today and deserved the win. This is after already racing/ winning the masters race this morning. I think that is a total of 32 lap. Go figure.
Cycling is a weird thing. This season started out pretty well. For the first three months, 6th was the worst place I had finished. Then April and May came. I didn’t/haven’t finished a race in nearly a month. I’ve only started 3. Pretty crazy. I would of normally raced 20 days or more. But, I haven’t had much of an ability, physically, to start races. I thought about going down to Joe Martin last week, but decided against it last minute. I don’t know if that was a good decision. Just yesterday, my hips finally quit oozing. Over a month. One course of antibiotics. But, that wasn’t the main problem. It is most likely allergies, since it’s now becoming a yearly thing at the same time of the year. Anyway, it is less than a week until the memorial day races up in the Quad cities. Snake Alley on Saturday. It should be interesting. I’m on a day by day basis. Can’t usually decide whether I need to rest or train. It is a coin toss.
I’m putting together a new Trek 6.5 Madone for the weekend. It should be the best riding frame I’ve ever ridden if it is anything like the 5.2 from last year. Something to get excited about at least. OK. That’s it for now.
The title pretty much sums it up. I drove down to the Southeast planning on doing 7 races in 8 days. Maybe even 8 races in 8 days if I felt good. Instead I race 1/2 of 2 races and threw in my chip. I kind of turned into a sort of mini vacation in the end. Except, those mini vacations work out better mentally after the races are over. Not while you’re still supposed to be racing them. I’ll post some photos, etc. tomorrow after I get over the driving jitters.