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What the heck, I'll post another Dragon's Challenge report

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What the heck, I'll post another Dragon's Challenge report

Old 05-28-07, 09:00 PM
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What the heck, I'll post another Dragon's Challenge report

This is rather long. There is a Cliffs Notes version at the bottom for botto et al. Either skip to that or bear with me...

Road Race:
I was lucky enough to upgrade to cat 3 last week, so Dragon's Challenge was my first races as a 3. On Saturday, I was the only Franklin Street Cycles rider to show- I figured that was good in that if I embarrassed myself, at least I wouldn't do it in front of the team I was a bit timid early in the race, since these were mostly guys I hadn't raced against before.

After the first lap, done mostly at parade speed, four of us got into an early break that made it a couple of miles but was then reeled in. A few miles further, there was another attack that resulted in a break of 5 that put some distance on the field. I stupidly assumed that the two guys in front of me would move up to close that break down, but they didn't.

I realized after the break survived for a few miles that we needed to get to work in order to bring it back, so a rider from ProHealth and I started trying to organize things. Problem was, only a couple of us in the pack actually came planning to race. I'm not sure why the other guys were out there, but they certainly weren't there to work hard or go fast.

With a little assistance early on from three other riders (the only other guys who we could get to do any work), the ProHealth rider, Casey, and I managed to bring the pack within 150 feet of the leaders. All it would have taken was a slight surge by the pack to close the distance! But Casey and I were completely shot from bringing the pack up, and we couldn't close the last bit. I yelled, I waved, I cried, I even begged a little bit, but NO ONE would come up to work to close that last few feet.

I watched as the leaders pulled back away, and that was it- from there, the group gave up completely. The only good that came out of it was that Casey gave me a great leadout that allowed me to take the bunch sprint for 6th place.

I was the only male FSC to go to the TT. I just built a TT bike last week, so this was its maiden ride. I felt pretty good, despite the poor scheduling of a birthday party for one of my teammates (it's not right to have to play beer pong and then time trial the next morning. I'm betting, though, that I felt a whole lot better than my teammate did on Sunday).

Never having ridden a TT before, I just concentrated on pushing myself as hard as I felt I could maintain for 16 miles. I had targets out in front of me; an unknown minute man, a friend 2 minutes up the road, and then another friend from Spin Cycle four minutes ahead. I caught and passed the unknown and my first friend, then set my sights on the empty road all the way up to the Spin Cycle rider.

I worked my way up the road and was inside the 500m mark when the Spin Cycle crossed the finish line, so I came close to accomplishing my goal of catching him. When the dust settled and results were posted, I was third in the 3s with a pretty decent time.

One of FSC's women also went down for the TT, and she came in 4th in the women's field. Nice job!

Finally, another FSC to race with! One of my teammates, Jon, came down for the crit, as did a ton of FSC 4s. I enjoyed myself in the crit, spending a lot of time toward the front, chasing down breaks when guys tried to go. Casey from ProHealth and I worked together well again, alternating pulls for quite a few laps when no one else seemed to want to come up and work at the front. Jon was there to help me out when the attacks kept coming.

At the end of the race, I had Casey's wheel and Jon had mine. Two guys from Benissimo dove into the middle of our line and tried to steal my wheel, then when I took it back pushed me over just about into the hay bales approaching the final corner. One of them got a great run off the corner and got away to take the win, with Casey edging me by just a hair for second. I came in third, and Jon came in right on my wheel to snag fourth.

It was a great weekend for FSC!

CliffsNotes version:
RR: 5 man breakaway survived; worked my butt off trying to catch them; that didn't work out; finished 6th.
TT: first one ever, did well, had fun, finished 3rd.
Crit: worked at the front much of the time, chased everything down, had fun, finished 3rd.
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Old 05-28-07, 09:11 PM
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Very nice!

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