That was my goal for this weekend. In every sense, get my numbers up. My number of races on the year, my number of watts, my number of miles ridden, my number of dollars in my pocket. To accomplish this, I decided to try to do the Indiana State Road Race Championships on Saturday morning, the Winfield Twilight Crit Saturday night and the ABR Crit Champs on Sunday. A fairly tall order considering I had 5 races in my legs for the whole year leading into this weekend.
The state road race was held on a relatively flat lap that the group would do 12 times for a total of 88-ish miles. It was only Greg Christian and I from Panther/RGF in the race, with about 10 Texas Roadhouse guys, so we knew we would have our hands full. Greg did a great job of covering tons of moves and I tried to do my part as well. I ended up in a break with 4 laps to go, with all the important teams represented. The break wasn't working very well together so it ended up coming back to the field with 1 lap to go. Just as the break came back Greg broke his chain and his day was over. I tried to salvage a result for the team by trying my hand in the sprint. It was a long, wide open drag race style sprint, hardly my forte. I ended up in second place, but just couldn't quite come around Kirk Albers from Roadhouse at the line. I would have loved to pick up the win, but was pleased to salvage a result with such little form.
After the race I pounded some Recoverite, slapped on the compression socks and took off to Chicago. With 80-some miles in my legs already that day, I wasn't really sure how my legs would hold up, but I thought I might be have some value to the team. I actually ended up feeling better in this race than I did in any race of the weekend. The team rode well and everyone took turns throwing attacks and trying to get a break to go. Chris Uberti was smashing the field at every prime opportunity, netting the team a cool $300 in primes on the night. The race was all together with one lap to go. Greg went to the front and lead it up the final climb with Chris on his wheel and me a little further back. I knew I needed to get closer to the front by the top of the hill, but in my legs 110th mile of racing on the day, they were feeling a little crunchy. I ended up 6th and Chris 2nd. Greg rode like 4 people, as he always does and Derek was always right there at the front too. A solid day for the team. After the race we went to our host's house and then out for some Mexican food. I think I used my last bits of energy chewing my food, because once we were done I could hardy hold my head up. We finally got the check split 14 ways and got out of there and into bed around midnight. I suffer from extreme car-lag anytime I leave the eastern time zone, even by 1 hour, so with it being 1 AM Bloomington time, I was out in no time.
The sprint in the Twilight Crit. Josh smacked us all around pretty good.
The moment I stepped out of bed on Sunday I knew it was going to be a tough one. The legs felt like cement blocks at best. Luckily the team was awesome and were always there to cover any attacks that I wasn't feeling up to. As the race developed, Chris ended up in a break with Josh Carter and Mike Sherer. With those 3 guys in the move, the three biggest teams best sprinters, we were all content to let them go and fight it out for the win. The rest of our day was spent covering moves and trying to control the race. At then end of the race my legs were screaming every time up the hill and surely every time I had to cover an attack. I wasn't sure if I could do much in the sprint but tried to get my self to the front regardless. In the sprint for fourth I positioned myself pretty well and tried to hold off my move as long as possible because the sprint was another long one. At the line, Ben Renkema had taken the bunch gallop for 4th and I was second to take 5th. Chris ended up 2nd on the day, with Derek in 8th. Greg did the work of an 8 man team by himself again and rolled in in the field after burying himself to keep the field together. I've still got a long, long way to go to get back to the fitness I had before mono, but I finally feel like Im going the right direction.
As always, it was great to catch up with Ben and his girlfriend, whatever her name is. Christy maybe? seriously though, congrats to Christy for winning "the jersey" on Sunday.
This weekend we're getting the whole squad together in Mt. Pleasant, MI for a little omnium with some good cash. Can't to race with an almost full squad.
There are a few pictures from the weekend floating around so I'll try to add those a little later today.