I rode men's 4's both days, to begin. ok here goes:
Sturbridge RR. 8:30 am. 35 miles. 500ft climb X3. 50-60 degrees and sunny. 70-80 riders.
pretty boring race, actually. we all fooled around for 12 miles, but no real attacks. I kept myself in front, poorly protected at times, and had fun on some fast descents as my weight keeps me moving. Due to a nice taper, I had great legs.
I was hoping to have a selection made on the 2nd climb, but most rode the hill well and the pack stayed about 50 strong. I attacked a bit on the downhills, drawing little concern, but having fun going fast. At this point I was certain we'd all just wait 'till mile 31.5 and have a hillclimb for the win... and wait we did until mile 27 when Cambridge Cycle launched a weak attack followed by a stronger attack that I in part helped to close down... almost to the climb...
Mile 31.5 comes and my buddy Colby leads us up for the first mile. he;s looking strong today. I feel great too and keep a nice tempo leading the peloton. i pass colby and attack hard. get reeled in and immediately attack again, harder. get reeled in again. and again I hit it... running out of gas, now... lactic acid feeling heavy in the legs. i get swallowed up, pic a wheel about 5 deep and try to recover for the final kick. no chance to recover. an attack comes from the right and I close quickly, jumping out of the line. I cover the gap and really start to suffer... still 400m uphill. s1ht.
3 more strong guys pass on the right (including my crit dopleganger: Ben from Brockton (travis cycles)). crap. I start my sprint 220m out... but it was more of a cling to life than a sprint. kept standing for 15 horrible seconds and finished the race in 5th. that'll do. great finish for me considering my tactical failures. 5 points.
EAT A LOT AND SLEEP A BIT (recovery)... and walk 5 miles...
Sunday: Palmer Library RR. 8:30 am. 60 miles, no major climbs. 48 degrees and almost raining. 100 racers, at least.
so, 5 miles in a break of 4 goes away including a guy from Boston Road Club (BRC). BRC has 17 dudes racing today.
BRC blocks well for 35 miles miles, but the break is weak and the huge peloton is too fast and the gap never grows above 1:30 (i suppose). At mile 40 I move to the front with a some others to close down the break. pack sprint for fifth is not in my future.
Legs feel surprisingly good, considering yesterday. nice. 5 or 6 are strong enought o take a few pulls through a paceline but a few dudes repeatedly bumblfokced the whole thing up and made the job much harder for those of us who were working to catch the break. Doofus move included: attacking the paceline by accident, softpedalling while at the head of the arrow, not moving out of the way after a pull (... or not pulling through... or...)
So me and 3-6 other guys, all feeling strong out of despiration, managed to command the pace until mile 57 or so, where the cat and mouse games began. everyone stopped working except for 5 of us, and soon only 3 of us began taking turns animating the pace, knowing that the break was still too far away. I work super hard here, really suffering. i yell a a lot, feeling tremendously frustrated. I try to orchestrate the chase, to very little avail. I work to keep big BRC blocker dude from doing his job. i cry a little. then yell more. intense. I attack. i get quickly caugt. my legs are gone. break is getting reeled in. almost...
So finally when the break is within our grasps, I get a few moments to relax, frustrated and tired, but proud to have the break nearlly closed down.
600 meters from the finish, the pack swarms over the exausted break (very PRO) and the pack sprint quickly organized. with a tall BRC rider surging by, I pick up his wheel and a nice wheel it is. CRASH!!!
behind.. damn. re-focus. 10 pedal strokes, holding nicely, strong draft. CRASH! again, metal scraping on asphalt, voices too exhausetd to scream... just aluminum and asphalt music.
Keep pedaling...wait...wait.. hold it.. no huge surge, yet...100m:
I jump out of BRC's draft to respond. I pick off 7 or 8 guys and pass a WestwoodVelo guy (awesome rider, not one of the many doofuses) at the line and take the proudest 3rd of my short racing life. best race, for me, seriously. BRC didnt manage a podium spot, their break was caught (which I felt a big part of) and I got 3rd and $85 and didnt crash. wow.
I could petition for my upgrade if I wanted to. this was one of my biggest season goals and I'm psyched to have earned it.
thanks for reading and big ups to all of the great guys i raced with this weekend including: Ken, Nessim, Colby, Brockton Ben, Julian, Michael, Matt, Matt, cambridge-guy some other NEBC-guy and many others whom I cant recall. an honor to have some decent riders out there keeping me sane. thanks.
thanks for reading and I hope for some OTHER RACE REPORTS!!!