So today was cherry pie. The first race of the year. I woke up to see bits of clear sky to the west, endocrinologist and it looked like the rain was moving away, sick so my excitement for the race instantly doubled. There’s just something about having nice weather for the first race, rainy epic races are great, but for the first race its nice to have good weather. Drove up to the race with nearly recovered from being sick Karey, and Mike. I was looking forward to the race to see how I felt and see how my trainings been paying off, and was looking forward to working for my team mate Kennett, who needs to get upgraded so the two of us can work together at the NRCs. The race was faster than cherry pies in the past, with attacks going most of the race. It was really good to see the level of racing getting higher, and to see teams doing a good job of working together, and not just a bunch of guys hammering for no reason. I felt good in the race, especially for February. Guess training this year is paying off, and I cant wait to see how races feel in a couple more months.
It was our goal to keep kennett up front and out of the wind, and to keep the break aways under control. We had Brian and myself to keep things under control, and we were looking good as a team(well not matching yet, but we were riding well together at least). Things were going great and according to plan, then after going up to a break to keep it from getting away, my front wheel went flat. I got off and started to take off the wheel, really angry that a brand new tire got a flat, and on perfectly smooth road no less. I got my wheel change, which was pretty quick for a local race(Good job follow car!!) I hopped on my bike and resumed chase. Counting the time gap I had about 40 seconds to close. Beautiful. Then the pack rounded a corner, and from the distance I could see it was strung out going pretty fast. More beautiful. I kept the gas on and kept on taking time gaps to the back of the field, and was gaining about 2 seconds per minute from my chase. About 20 minutes later, at the base of the climb, I caught back on. I was happy to be on, but after a 20 minute TT, wasn’t looking forward to the surge up the extra large roller. It wasn’t as painful as I was prepared for it to be, so that was a welcome relief. On the down hill I began moving forward to get back to a useful position. Once I was back on the front I continued to play domestique, and tried to cover as many of the moves as possible, but with the cross wind being more evident than the first lap, and the general pack flow, it was a little more difficult to not get sucked back to the middle of the pack. It pretty soon became pretty evident that it was going to come down to a field sprint, so with kennett on my wheel, I tried to keep the two of us connected at the front. We were in a nice little pocket in a pretty good position when we were getting close to the last mile. Jacob and Joel were OTF with a little gap on the field, I was a little nervous that it would stay, but was pretty confident it would come back just in time for us to take the win. At the right time, I moved to the front with kennett on my wheel and slowly ramped up the pace to try to bring in the 2 guys OTF and put kennett in the sweet spot. I caught Joel just before the corner, and gave my last few pedal strokes to send kennett up the hill. Once he swung past me I sat up to slow the riders behind him, and help him get a gap on the field. He almost caught Jacob, with only a couple of feet from the win. We didn’t win, but we played our cards well, and we took 2nd as a result of the good team work.