I was at climbing.
Race- Valley City Road Race, Men's Category 4
Where- Valley City, OH (a few miles from Grafton Reformatory)
When- 10:00am, August 25, 2007
First and foremost, I have to thank Snakebite Racing for hosting this race, the course was awesome. The course was a 12 mile road race, involved two hills of considerable grade, and some pretty good downhills. Theonly incidents involved one guy losing his chain coming out of a turn while standing (he rejoined the race on the lap) and some crazy brakers who hampered my race. I think the two largest teams there were working together, but I can't be sure.
The race started awesome for me. there were 20 people in the race, and I stayed within the front third of the pack the entire time and didn't get out into the wind much at all, and watching for the guys who need to be watched. There weren't really any sizeable breaks, they were kept under control completely.
On the last qurater of the last lap I stated making some moves on everybody. On the first hill I drafted to the top and caught a solo break to try to speed up the race a little bit, during the descent I had a big, dopey grin on my face, and one guy looked at me, did a double take and asked why I was smiling. I didn't really tell him why, but it was then that I knew that I could win the race as long as I didn't crash or flat.
I let a few more people pass me and got into 5th or 6th position in the line. At this point we were looking at about 1.5 miles to the finish.
It was amazing at how good I felt. I felt like I could make it to Cat 3 by the beginning of next season, and I felt like whoever opposed me in the Junior ranks would soundly be smacked down should they so desire to challenge me. It was one of those solo rides that you remember because you're in Nirvana and you're riding completely effortlessly. I can't even remember a mile of that race because I felt so calm and under control...
Until the last half mile. One of the only things that could stop me did. Going into a right hander, I went with all of the leaders around the turn wide, and what happens?
The guy in front of me hits his brakes for some reason, and I was close enough that I had to react FAST. I squeezed my front brake and when he kept on slowing down I squeezed the rear and locked up the rear tire for a split second. In that time 5-6 riders passed me on the inside of the turn.
Next up was a left hander and I wasn't in the right spot at all for that turn and had to slow down further so as I didn't start an accident. Next was a right followed by a left onto the last hill until the finish about a quarter mile from the peak.
On the climb I made up 4-5 places and outclimbed everyone within reach of me. Suddenly, I was all alone. nobody within attacking distance (or attacking state) behind me, and only one guy who I might be able to catch ahead of me, far ahead of him were the leading riders; I think the first 5-6 riders. Even if I had a McEwen-like sprint I couldn't have caught them.
Luckilly, I passed the guy within range of me 4 feet from the finish line. I tihnk he just gave up, because I was only doing 25mph and he was coasting.
In the end I either got 6th or 7th place, I'm still not sure.
I wish I could be happy about the result, but I should be getting better. I've got no doubt that I could've won that race if I was near the front and climbed like I did. I may not have won if there was an all out sprint, but it's a possibility.