I didn’t have too high expectations for the races this weekend. Seems like my team bailed on me, so I am solo down here among pretty good riders. Matt Ankney said something like, “You’re out numbered today.” I said something like, “No shit, I can count” back.
But, racing is for training too, this time of the season, so there is no downside to get as many races in as possible. And the race was pretty good for me. I didn’t feel very good all day. I’ve been driving a lot too much this past week, and sleeping a lot too little, to ride my bike really fast.
The race was kind of surprising to me. Matt Ankney, once again, took off from the gun and rode solo pretty much the whole day. His Tulsa Tough team had the most riders, and most of the best riders in the race, so I was pretty good with just Matt riding away by himself. I’ve won this race before, so I didn’t feel any pressure. Matt won the race last year, so he was willing to take a risk because he had another 8 guys waiting in the wings when he got caught. And he did get caught, but just a couple laps from the finish.
The whole race just came down to a field sprint up a short hill. I’ve done the sprint a few times and know it well. But, I didn’t ride it well. I’m not really sure what the problem was. I wasn’t focused or something when I needed to be. I let a couple guys into the line when I shouldn’t have. And got swarmed by a mob just when I wanted to get into the wind. The Tulsa Tough guys were doing a okay leadout. Okay enough that nearly ever person in line ahead of me sat up. I was probably in 12th with 200 meters to go. I wiggled up the edge of the road and got free the last 100 meters, but the first 4 guys were 20 meters ahead. I really didn’t have to sprint because there really wasn’t any point. I finished 5th. The race was winnable, but I’m okay with where I finished. I rode a stupid sprint and got the place I deserved.
Today we’re supposed to be racing 65 miles on a pretty hard course north of Tulsa. It is supposed to be down pouring rain all morning. And not warm. I talked to a bunch of guys and they said they aren’t showing up if it’s raining. I’m not a fair weather bike race. That is for sure. But, I’m not into riding for 3 hours in the rain this morning. So, I’m racing, but under personal protest.
Here’s a few photos that Trudi sent from the last day of Paris-Nice today. This is in Nice and it’s the TT today.