Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hillsboro Report

So it's over and I don't really know what to think about it. The field was 120 strong and even let in a few more than the field limit because some big names rolled up, un-prereg'd, so they kinda had to. Anyway, my goal was to try not to pull the normal Ryan move and freak out about everything that got 5 feet off the front... at least until half way through the 90 miles. It was a nice day with a little bit of wind, that turned into a decent amount of wind after a few laps. I rode up front so I could keep my eye on the experienced guys and make sure they didn't get too far without me. I ended up spending about 4 hours within a few feet of Steve Tilford (last year's Hillsboro winner, bad ass, and winner of the 1921 Inter-Galactic MTB Championships). Since I had no idea how this race was going to shake out, I figured he was probably one of smarter bike racers out there to shadow.

After a 2 pretty easy laps, the wind started to pick up and so did the racing. Attack were going and a few small groups were coming and going from the front. Towards the end of lap 3 a small group was just up the road and we were letting them kinda dangle before the catch. We'll Chad B. towed another guy across the relatively small gap and no one at the front really batted an eye. Turns out we should have, because the group of six stuck it. It got quite a bit faster on the last lap and the field that was 125, was down to about 50 and scattered all over road. The rubber band was thoroughly stretched in the front, but we couldn't seem to get another group to break off and catch the 6 just up the road. I did accomplish something I've never done before though, I rode in a break with Tilford and didn't get yelled at. Baby steps.

I need some media to spice up this race report, so here is the cut from the last lap. Nothing impressive, but you can see from the spikes that we tried to get something goin'

With about 5 miles to go, the field gave up and we started cruising in to fight for the scraps. Just about then, Greg was finally rested from his long chase back from a flat and took a flyer. Some posers tried to get across to him, but they undoubtedly had no idea how strong Greg is on his own and soon returned to the field. So he ended up being between the break and field in 7th, which was a tiny bit of consolation for the squad. As we came into town, I got up front and mixed it up in the sprint, but the legs were too tired to pop off a good one. I followed some wheels to end up 14th on the day. I feel stronger than I've ever been, but I just need to have the confidence to race like it. Looking forward to this race again next year. Also props to the promoter/organizers for running a tight ship for the most part and being speedy with the results