The Appalachia Visited Road Race and WV State Championship did not begin as well as I had planned. I had been looking forward to this race all season. The course is great-- 60 miles of nice roads with long climbs, and twisty fast downhills. It has been my favorite road race of JR's since winning it last year as a Cat 5.
Racing Advice: Don't miss the start.
Usually I warm up too early for a race and find that my heart rate has dropped to resting levels by the time the field of riders starts. So, this race I decided to warm up a little later, roll up to the start and begin racing with an elevated heart rate. However, as I rolled into the start I realized by JR's glance back at me that I had just missed it.
I quickly began chasing the field of Cat 4/5, but never got any closer to the front pack than occasionally spotting the wheel car on long straight stretches of road. I managed to pick up a few other racers for some company along the way.
So, with one objective out of reach, I kept my racing efforts with the hope of gaining enough points in the race to move myself from an overall series 17th place into the top 10 of the ABRA Cat 4/5 class. After chasing most of the race, I crossed the finish about as worn out as I have ever been to finish just well enough to pick up the points I needed to finish 10th in the series...preseason goal: met.
ABRA's 2011 Appalachian Road Race Series has been fun. A big thanks goes out to JR and Gina for their hard work organizing the events, Dynamic Physical Therapy for their support, PathfinderWV for the bike and its maintenance, Camelbak for keeping us hydrated, Swifwick for warm arms and comfy feet, and all our other sponsors and volunteers who have helped provide the team with a great road race season.