The Tour of Lawrence is this weekend July 2-4th. If you’re looking for somewhere to race bicycles this weekend, this is it. If you’ve never been to Lawrence, Kansas, then you should use this as an opportunity to do so. Friday night there are street sprints downtown. Saturday is an awesome circuit race on the KU Campus and then Sunday is a criterium in downtown Lawrence. If you don’t feel like racing, Lawrence is a great town to just hang out in. It’s the Boulder Colorado of Kansas for sure. Get a room at the Eldridge Hotel in downtown. It is walkable to about anywhere you want to go. Also, Sunday there is a running race held in conjunction with the criterium. It’s called the Mass Street Mile. And, of course, fireworks are available for viewing July 4th, right from downtown. So, use this as a great way to visit a super city and have a great 4th of July weekend.
Sunday’s race was not that hard. Mainly because the course is so hard that if you raced it hard, it would be carnage. It’s a really short criterium on a hill. 1:10 minutes a lap. No rest really. Up and the instantly back up. It was hot again. Not super hot, but hot.
Our agenda was to win the overall first and then the stage. And I thought that probably was going to be done simultaneously. All four of us on TradeWind Energy/ The Trek Stores team had a mathematical chance to win. But, really Bill and Nick had the best shot, even though Brian was virtually winning the race only 2 points behind Brad Huff.
We were going to race aggressively at the start until the right situation occurred. I rode a few laps off the front alone early. Then Bill a bit. It was obvious that Brad wasn’t going to let Brian ride away, even though he did put the hurt on Brad a few times, Brad would always come back. Then Nick went away with Jeff Hartman, Big Shark, and that was it. That was a scenario that was considered before the race and it seemed good. They lapped us super fast. In the meantime, Brian was still trying to shell Brad. But, no.
The race kept splitting up like crazy. It was nearly impossible to figure out who was going off the front and who was getting lapped. Brian and Brad went off the front, got together, decided not to go and came back to the field and right off the back to the next group. During that, Hartman had jumped and Nick followed so they were off the front again. At the end, Nick was sprinting Jeff in a big group, with Brad Huff leading out Jeff and Brian helping Nick. Nick won the sprint and the race, so he won the race overall.
Brian has won the Tour of Kansas City four times. It was nice to help Nick get a victory. He hasn’t been racing very long, but seems to be improving in leaps and bounds. Jeff Hartman seemed to be disappointed afterwards for some reason. We only had 4 guys at the race, but for some reason he thought we rode negative, I guess. Brian had ridden with him pretty long on Saturday, before shelling him, allowing him to get 2nd. And Sunday, we allowed him to ride with Nick and get 2nd again. I’m not sure what he was expecting.
And Brad was disappointed that Brian wouldn’t ride with him. From my perspective, Brad should of pulled when he was alone with Brian. Brian would of most likely beaten him if Brad pulled the whole race, but at least he would of finished 3rd overall and top 5 in the race. Both these guys were at the race alone. It is obviously going to be frustrating in that situation. 4 against a lot of individual good riders is pretty good odds for us. But, that is just bike racing.
I was better than I expected, but really pretty bad all weekend. I’ve had some lung crud going on and a really sore throat. I’m not much on not racing when I am sick. I’ve done that a million times and I don’t seem to get better any faster. I usually just ride through it. It is much harder, especially mentally, when it is so hot and I feel so shitty. I don’t have a spleen and usually get ill when I run into just about anyone else that is already sick. I’m not sure how to avoid that. But, it makes it so much better and I appreciate it so much more when I’m going good, remembering how bad it feels when you’re going bad. It is pretty frustrating, getting sick after Joe Martin, then finally, after going out to altitude, feeling great, for just a couple days, and now back to square one. But, that is life.
Like I said below, hot and humid. Hard. The course is hard. 2 climbs per 2.8 mile loop. And it was breezy. Brian won. He rode away from a 8 rider break. Bill and NIck were up there also, but ended up 5th and 6th. Brad Huff won the sprint for 3rd followed by Phil Mann. I have been a bit under the weather since I got back from Colorado. I felt better the last hour, but by then the race was up the road. I rode the last 4 laps with the previous days winner, Shad Smith and ended up 9th.
Tomorrow should be interesting. A short criterium circuit with one side uphill and the other side down. Hard. It’s supposed to start raining right when the race is scheduled to start at noon.
The circuit race at Cliff Drive was super hard. Mainly because of the heat and humidity. My Tradewind Energy Team won today. Brian Jensen rode the last 5 laps solo to win alone. The overall is getting super tight because it is scored on points. Going to eat dinner and then post more.
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Things went just okay. Bill got away with Shad Smith, Mercy, early on and stayed away all 45 minutes. The race could only be that long because of darkness. Shad won which was good for him since he is from KC. Brad Huff rode me off his wheel in the sprint to finish 3rd. Nick Coil, Tradewind was 4th. All 4 our us finished in the top ten, so it is good for the overall.
Tomorrow is Cliff Drive in the heat of the day. It is going to be miserable.
I’m kind of using memory here, but I think I’m really close to its age. The Tour of Kansas City is the oldest multi-day race West of the Mississippi. The racing starts tonight in Lee’s Summit at 7:50. Tomorrow is Cliff Drive, which is a hard 50 mile circuit race. The final hilly criterium, Sunday morning, is at the new Power and Light District. It’s supposed to be in the mid 90’s all weekend. I’m kind of iffy, but I wouldn’t throw my chip back in, so that’s a positive. We’ll see. I haven’t checked out the start list, but I hear that Brad Huff, Jelly Belly, is coming. Since the race is scored on points and there are two criteriums, it is good for Brad. Okay. I’ll post the race updates as soon as can.
We loading up and are driving back to Kansas this morning. The Tour of Kansas City starts tomorrow night. Yesterday we did an awesome ride up Golden Gate Canyon and then over to Mountain Base and back down Coal Creek Canyon. Mountain Base was pretty steep. The only downside to a good day was I fell on the gravel descent on Crawford Gulch Road. It is pretty steep too, maybe 25% grade, but down. I didn’t get too scraped up, but made that injection in my shoulder from a week ago valueless. I landed on my chest it doesn’t feel that great either. I felt pretty good the whole ride even though I have some kind of little kid crud going on in my chest. Pascal was snotty nosed when we got here and finally it made its way to me.
I’m planning on spending way more time up in the mountains this year. I think it suits my body better. And it’s just way more fun.