Vic, Sean, Chris, and I represented the team at the Woodlawn Criterium (held in Cincinnati, OH). The course was decent (4 corners with mild inclines). Weather was very muggy and hot (95 degrees for a 5 PM race – now that’s silly hot at that time of the day).
The pre-race prep started off (as usual) with one simple question (directed at my trusted coach/true love): “what’s the goal?” – – “win daddy” replies my 3 year old daughter Lena. There you go. Top 5 it is then. I made a cardinal sin the morning of the race – I broke my routine. Instead of having my usual bowl of cereal and fruit leading up to a race – I decided to have the mother of all breakfast burritos at the Village Deli (a Bloomington institution). Bad move indeed. By the time 2 PM rolled around – I was stopping every 10-15 minutes to “drop the kids off at the pool”. I was suffering from a bat bout diarrhea (the explosive variety). This was further compounded by a very hot day and only two days of riding the week before (due to business travel). This was going to be a long 60 minutes in the saddle.
Although the field was not large, notable regional teams were represented (i.e. Nuvo/Bacardi, Mesa, TX RH). Off we go. All rode well covering moves in the beginning with Vic doing a great job closing a serious gap that split the field in half at one point. Meanwhile, I was in the middle to rear of the pack trying to keep my burrito and other matter from spilling on the road. As soon as I started feeling somewhat better, I began moving to the front. As I was doing this, a move including Busa, Doyle, and Braumberger went off the front (with about 30-40 minutes left in the race). This was my ticket. I jumped on, and we cleared the field. About 15 minutes later, 6 guys rolled up to us (with Sean in tow – beautiful). The break is now 10 men deep (all the money is up the road with all major teams represented – the field has shut down). Due to the mesmerizing heat, the speed was not very fast throughout the race. What did not feel all that great were the constant yo-yo attacks/accelerations. Once such attack (by Busa of TX RH) – caused a split in the break. At this point, I was starting to feel crappy again (literally). Luckily, Sean saved the day by riding tempo at the front – allowing me to get back in the winning move. This series of movements unfortunately shelled Sean (although he gets the award of the day for selfless riding). If it was not for Sean’s efforts, I would have probably pulled out of the race and ridden straight into the men’s room for another pit stop. The break is now 7 men deep (Doyle, two TX RH, a Mesa rider, myself and two others). Busa attacks (with about 15 minutes to go) with Mesa in tow. Knowing that Braumberger and Doyle were the most dangerous, I stayed back (in retrospect I should have gone with this move). This led to a slow and painful cat-mouse game that resulted in the two guys getting away with Mesa winning. I sprinted in for 4th (losing 3rd by a 1/3 of a wheel to Braumberger of TX RH). Vic was able to break clear of the field near the end (with Rich D of Nuvo/Bacardi) and won his sprint for a solid 8th place finish. Chris finished off the rest of the field with a solid sprint for 11th. All in all, not a bad day at all (when considering the circumstances). We are progressing nicely as a new team. Next show will be held in Zionsville, IN. Stay tuned!
Man-up or get out of the way,