Summer Solstice road race, Wilmington, Ohio. June 8th, 9th, and 10th
Well 3 weeks ago I wasn’t sure I was going to this 3 day race due to a knee injury. I was able to fix the cause (my seat height and right cleat position) but still had some gimp going on Wednesday night on a trial run.
This would be my last race(s) as a Cat 5 so I wanted to go out with a bang. Goal was to win GC by Sunday. Motto for the RR’s – a gem from Botto – “eat off their plate before you eat off yours”. This was harder to do then I thought. I chased down a few attacks I felt needed brought back but won’t detail them below.
1st stage Friday night 39 miles – 3/13 mile laps of fairly flat farmland with hella wind.
We don’t get started until 7:30 p.m. Don’t get me wrong I like sunsets too but this was a bit late to start. Race is immediately controlled by 7 Hills, a Cincinatti team. They block most of the race. I sit and wait for the sprint while my unattached friend attacks every 10 minutes and wears himself out. One unattached attacks 5 miles from finish and makes it stick. Final 400 meters 7 Hills gives leadout to they’re guy and I have his wheel at 50 meters, pass him at 25 and throw only to get beat at line by ½ wheel by an insanely fast junior Cat 5 rider who had my wheel.
I drink Endurox and soak my legs this night in ICE water for 10 minutes. It works as I'm fresh Sat. Knee is fine.
2nd stage Sat. morning – 39 miles hilly rollers.
Still windy so pack stays together most of race. My buddy attacks like Vino. I sit and wait – “eat off their plate” We come into last turn and I’m at back of pack somehow. No left of yellow line until 200 meters is in full effect. Always look for the opportunity in the back. Somebody will make the mistake. All of sudden at 500 meters what was three wide to the back splits to 2 wide with one guy sitting in the middle front. It was a total gift, I ride right up the middle and get his wheel as he explodes into a sprint at 300 meters. I pass him at 200 meters and have lead. I look at speedo and am at a Cypress lite 37 miles an hour. I get passed by one guy by a bike length, but take 2nd, and more importantly have GC by 1 second with time bonuses.
3rd stage Sat. afternoon TT – 7 miles
I won, that is all. Now 18 seconds up on GC.
Endurox and and ice water leg soak Sat. night. Legs fresh on Sunday. Knee is good.
4th stage – 37 miles, 3 laps of flat farmland.
Motto for this race – protect my position on GC and don’t crash. The 7 Hills team brings 11 guys to this last race. I get there late and make it to start line 2 minutes before we start, no warmup and at the back of 35 guys. 7 Hills blocks and sends 2 man attack off with first 5 minutes. I sit at the back and keep tabs on who means nothing to me and who I will kill to chase down. I keep repeating “eat off their plate before yours”. I work up to mid pack by third lap. On lap 3 several guys get off the front and I can’t see the GC guy I need to see. He’s off the front trying to bridge these guys who are 150 yards out now. F%&K! I tell the guy to my left I’m coming the f%&k over, MOVE! I get free and quickly catch my GC nemesis and then bridge other 2 riders. We then reel in other two 7 Hill riders and in doing so let an unattached off the front. He makes it stick into the wind for 7 miles. I wasn’t gonna sprint but changed my mind when another 7 Hiller cut in front from my left and almost crashed me out. Last 500 meters I’m 3 rows back by yellow line. 7 Hills has front 2 rows 3 wide with their guys. At 300 meters someone goes on the shoulder and tries to break free. At 200 meters an easy right turn and everyone goes. I break left and a 7 Hiller rubs shoulders with me. I break free and sprint like a raped ape. Throw the bike and get 3rd. Had I not thrown bike I would’ve had 4th. Race over. So long to the 5’s. I'll post pics when I can.