Sunday, April 22, 2012

Riding The Storm Out

My first race of the season, the Morgantown Road Race, went so poorly, I hoped that I'd be able to redeem myself in the second one, the Green County Road Race. I learned from my mistakes over the past few races, so I decided that I would make an effort to stay towards the front of the pack, and maybe even take a few pulls at the front (imagine that)! I also hoped that the opportunity to launch a few attacks since I've never tried that before. Before we rolled to the starting line, Jeff mused that this would be a race to remember, I hoped that it would.

The sky looked gray all morning, and not long before the race started, it began to rain, I was really stressed out. Since I don't have the best bike handling skills, I was worried that I would crash, but I made it to the finish just fine. As we rolled out, I made my way towards the front of the pack, and I managed to stay near the front for most of the race. The pack flowed very smoothly (unlike in the Morgantown Road Race) and I had no problem maintaining my position.

During the second climb I decided it was time for me to attack, I sprinted up the remainder of the climb and after turning a corner, I looked behind me to see if the pack was gaining, and to my surprise, nobody else had rounded the corner! I got excited and really started digging deep, I made it past the end of the descent following the climb before the pack caught back up with me, but it seemed as if we had lost a few cyclists.

The race continued rather uneventfully until mile 34, I rode past the side of the pace line, and signaled to Jerry that we should attack; there was only a mile left, or so I thought. We did pretty well, but the race was slightly longer that I had accounted for, and by the time we passed the 'one mile to go' sign, I was out of energy. I dropped off the back of the pack and finished just seconds behind the winner for 11th place.

Looking back, I think if I had saved my energy and not attacked towards the end, I would have had a solid pack finish, well, at least I'll know what to do next time. After the race we all gathered in the team tent and ate Shawn's delicious home baked cookies. It was a race to remember after all.