Today I’m driving down to Fayetteville to start the Joe Martin Stage race with a Hillclimb TT this afternoon. I usually go the night before, since it is over a 300 mile drive, but I had too much stuff to do, so will have to make due. Last time I drove down the day of the race I crawled up the hill. Hopefully it won’t be that bad today.
I’ve been doing the race for decades. I don’t think I did it the first year it was held, 1978, but I did it the first year I rode Senior (now Elite) in 1979. I was a first year senior and finished 2nd to John Howard in the hillclimb. That was still when Joe Martin was racing the event. I’m not sure where I finished overall that first year, but I’m pretty positive I’ve never won it. I finished 2nd to Thurlow Rogers when I was racing MTB primarily. Thurlow was collecting NRC points, which I had no idea what they were, so he few out to get some. Frank McCormick was racing the event, but missed our move in the road race, so was out of contention. I finished 2nd overall to Jason McCartney once too. I’ve won a bunch of stages, but not the GC.
I’m racing the 1/2 race with my team. This will be the first time I’ve done that. Normally I wouldn’t be too interesting not riding the Pro race, but the other 4 guys on the TradeWind Energy team want to do the 1/2 race and I haven’t really raced with them all season, so that is how we’ll do it. I have to admit that the Pro race would be better for me at this point. I am pretty lacking any resemblance of form. Most likely the 1/2 race will be harder. The Pro race is usually really controlled right from the start, after the TT. Usually, every stage is a field sprint. Last year it broke up a little, but that was the first time in years. I could use some sitting in miles, but that isn’t to be. It looks to rain at least one day the next four. I don’t know which day would be best. I’ve ridden the criterium in the rain and it is ugly since it has some much verticle gain per lap.
The time trial is in Devil’s Den State Park and goes uphill for 2.5 miles. My time is going to suck, but I hope to ride into some form by Sunday if possible. Hopefully some of my team mates are going to have a good ride and give me some more purpose for the race. It is always better that way.
Okay, I’d better get driving. I ride at 4:15 this afternoon, so am not going to have much time to warm up. It really doesn’t matter.
Here’s where you can go to get the results all weekend long.