Thursday, March 29, 2012

Comeback Year in Review (Next Installment)

By now I had been hitting the group rides pretty consistently and I was finally starting to help increase the pain factor of the rides. I was also doubling up regularly in the races.

Crystal Cup, Cat 3: 6th
I was really amped to try and win this race and certainly had been training hard leading up to it. The team worked like a well oiled machine but things just didn't pan out. Still managed to get 3 guys in the money. Won some nice Tifosi glasses that would get destroyed in my first cross race. Damn cross bike doesn't corner like a road bike.

Cat 3/4 ToWC Kickoff Crit
Tour of Washington County Kick Off Crit, Cat 3/4: 1st
Yeah baby, counter Todd Bickling on second lap, breakaway establishes, almost lap the field and come away with a 5 bike length sprint victory. Only issue was that I couldn't find any photogs that had captured the victory salute.

Tour of Washington County Stage Race, Cat 3/4: Prologue - crap, RR - I was a crappy teammate, TT - crap, Crit - 1st
Learned my time trialing sucked arse despite being set up with some decent aero equipment. Road race went okay but I was late to the game to set Rist up but he still managed a top 10. The other time trial was another abysmal failure. The crit was another story. It was father's day and my wife surprised me by showing up to the race with my two boys. Wow, will that ever re-energize a proud father. We ran a pretty aggressive race, I was not feeling great and was ready to call it a day with 2 to go but then Doc Bickling rolled up to my side and gave me the look and I knew what to do. Todd worked his way through the field with me in tow and had us perfectly position in 4th spot around the final corner. He gave it a great kick and I punched it with 150 meters to go and we came away with the 1, 2 Bike Doctor victory!!
Bickling and I going 1,2 in final crit of ToWC

Church Creek TT, Cat 3: 3rd
Rist was a very generous man and let me borrow his insanely sweet Cannondale Slice with a Zipp 606 set up! I managed to just break 56 minutes which I was pretty psyched about because I hadn't really done any TT specific training all season.

Reston Towne Center GP, Cat 3/4: 7th
We were really gunning for this one and we thought we could make a move with 3 to go and it might be able to slip away if the right group got away. Well we got caught on the final lap because Haymarket wasn't represented and they did some digs to bring us back. Hey, that's bike racing. I mustered up enough energy to get into decent position for the sprint but some chaos in the last couple corners caused me to lose some positions and finish up 7th.

Reston Towne Center GP, 35+ Open: 2nd
Planned to sit in and just trade off covering significant moves with Rist. With 10 to go I found some extra gas in the tank and felt the pack was getting warn out and I attacked. One guy bridged up and we had a good gap for 4-5 laps. A group of 4 more caught us and we stayed away. I managed to get 2nd in the sprint to Chip Hoover who was a monster in the sprint.

Toona crit finish
Tour de Toona, Cat 3: RR - 5th, Crit - 2nd, Overall - 2nd
Flew solo on this one. Sunny Gill was rocking the cat 2 race. Well the road race was brutal. I have done this before and the climb up Blue Knob is never easy. This is also where I was introduced to the grit and determination of my future GamJams rival, Dan Netzer. Dan attacked from the gun of a 70 mile mountainous race because his teammate, Frank Cundiff triple dog dared him. Well I never saw Dan again. Some reshuffling would occur with the guys that initially went with him and the guys that separated themselves from the group going up Blue Knob. At the finish there were 4 guys spread out in front of the "peleton" (about 10 guys). Luckily the peleton included me (although severely cramping as my longest training ride was 45 miles). Fortunately I had scouted out the finishing stretch ahead of time and knew when to give a kick. I managed to win the field sprint. For the crit, I just sat in and made sure the GC guys didn't sneak away. One non-GC guy did sneak away with about 3 to go when the pack just decided to give up. A last lap charge started to claw him back and I was hoping it would be just enough for me to catch him if I timed my sprint just right. Well with 2 corners to go I was sitting perfectly on 3rd wheel and came into the last corner with the solo rider in my sights. I stud on it for the 250 meter uphill sprint and was closing fast but I didn't have enough real estate to nab him. Missed it by about a half a bike length. Oh well, 2nd place in the crit managed to move me up to 2nd overall. Not bad and the pay out was "advertised" to be pretty sweet. (Note: As of this date 3/21/2012, I haven't seen a payout check from Tour de Toona!!).

... to be continued.

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