With the Evolution Cycling Club making it happen and moving out with the likes of RYAN (theflyingmidget.blogspot.com) snatching the Mid-Atlantic Bicycle Racing Association (MABRA) Senior Criterium CAT 3 Championships and MA leading the Proteus/MABRA Women's Cat 4 Series and EMMA right on her wheel, I feel almost compelled to walk away from my keyboard. However, my inability to ride fast has never (well almost never) impacted my ability to misuse the English language. So on w/ my rookie race report I go . . .
Having emotionally healed my confidence through a martini shaker following the crushing at the Reston Town Center Grand Prix (RTCGP) and one "brief" ride w/ the Reston Bike Club (RBC) Group ...I believed my good week of commuting set me up well for the Hagerstown Criterium Challenge/MABRA Senior Criterium Championships. W/in the CAT4/5 EVO list group I went from talking about getting a top 10 to putting an EVO jersey on the podium of victory!!!
With 7 Brothers starting the race I was certain we could make it happen. I was prepared to ride smart and hard through any and all carnage. If my legs began to fall off, I would hold them on w/ GU or something. I wanted this one!!!
I would chant "suck it up Buttercup" every time I thought about the race. My little TURTLE brain knew SPONGE, Willson, and Andrew were our best hopefuls and I would do what ever it took to get them to the finish. Again, confidence was all over the place as I posted our "strategy" on the net leading up to the race.
Dan Bailey provided a lift and enough time for a good warm up. I also knew if Dan got a good warm up, he would ride strong and could lead the group into the finish. He truly is a DIESEL on the road and should be named so. Then agin in EVO blue, we can start calling him "TANK" which is short for Thomas the Tank Engine . . . just a thought.
By I digress . . . so having a great warm up and a preview of the course, I was ready at the line as off we went. The first few laps were quick but not very crazy with most of us sitting near the front. Willson pushed off the front w/ another guy in a great move. SPONGE sat at the front of the group and I was about 2 wheels back. The gap was huge!!! I moved closer to SPONGE and actually thought Willison could pull off the break but my Brother pushed a bit too hard and could not keep the distance.
As we caught him, a Bike Rack guy started a move off the front w/ SPONGE on his wheel and Me right behind him. I let them pull away until a NCVC guy decided he was not going to let that happen and I went w/ him. I can hear VIC screaming right now as I know we should have countered w/ another EVO guy. The EVO Elders are perhaps not happy right now.
However, this is about when the wheels started to come off the bus as the tempo increased and my HR hit about 200!!! Carnage, lots of carnage began as we began to lap a few guys. It was RTCGP all over again. A race of attrition was on . . .
I lasted until about 6 laps to go and started racing backwards, pedaling in Lego squares, and loosing situational awareness as the break had 11 seconds on us. I tried to grab Dan's wheel as out the back of a group of about 12-15 guys I went. I was joined by 2 others and we worked together to try to get back on the lead group. At this point my pedaling Legos were starting to build a house and I rolled off the back of this little effort to cross the line in another TURTLE last. Consistent I am for sure . . .
A last that was 18th from the field of over 30 that either DNF or were pulled by the judges. I thought I was a lot further back than that. I'll take that math as I am now consistently in the top 20 of my last few races. However, my desire remains a to finish in the top 10!
Another race of attrition completed and my lust for a top 10 finish postponed yet again. So off to Germany I go and will build a bit of liquid courage w/ a few Paulaner Hefe-Weizen Dunkels. They are already in the fridge at the house and will help me get over the jet lag and train so I can get ready for The Lost River Classic (www.ncvc.net/lostriver) on 25 Jul. Time to get the climbing legs on. Any one want to loan me a pair (or at least one) . . .