Drove up to Burlington Iowa for the Friday afternoon road race. It is always nice to be able to race on weekdays. The 80 mile road race is a nice way to get over the 7 hour drive. The race goes North out of Burlington and parallels the Mississippi River up to a small town, Wapello, and the back with a small diversion to Mediapolis and back to a super fast downhill finish in Burlington. Pretty flat. Historically this race is pretty breezy. Friday it was almost calm. This race had field sprint written all over it.
Then a break of 6 got away after about 25 miles. We had two guys, Bill and Chris Hall in the move. So I did everything I could to slow the field down. They got out of sight after a while and it looked like it had a chance. Eventually, a group of strong guys got rotating at the front. Not one time in particular. Just one or two guys from a lot of different teams. They were rolling pretty good. 28-30 mph for the next hour. The break had 1:30 with 20 miles to go. Then they were in sight. We were coming up on them pretty good with 6 miles to go, but a then a couple guys jumped from the field and with the new blood, Bill and 3 others kept a gap. The finish is up a small hill, 800 meters of flat and then 500 meters downhill. They still had 100 meters going up the hill, but the Texas Roadhouse guys, with something like a million riders, lined up and started their leadout (even though they had one rider in a 4 man group). They did have he fastest guy in a downhill sprint, John Puffer. He was the wheel I was going to start on. I can’t go around him unless he screws up and goes too early. At least I never have. Bill jumped and was away, but we caught him with 700 meters to go. I started over the top of the hill in good position and then it went to shit. There were 5 or 6 Texas Roadhouse guys in the front and Kirk Albers decided to jump instead of leading Puffer out. Then the rest sat up. Chad Hartley went for Albers. I started for Hartley and then thought I should stay on Puffer. By then everyone was in the wind in a 45 mph downhill sprint. I was buried. Chad Hartely won with Puffer 2nd and Josh Carter 3rd. The fastest three guys for sure, but Puffer should of won the race if the leadout would of been executed correctly.
Anyway, no one crashed and it was fast and fun as usual. Snake Alley was the next day, so no one wanted to kill themselves.