Monday, September 21, 2009
Charm City Cross UCI C2
After Saturdays race we drove down to Baltimore and got our hotel in the ghetto. Strangely enough Hotels.com didn't say anything about about the fact that our arrangements were located in the hood. Oh well, I was going to sleep like a rock anywhere. I spent the evening eating pizza and trying to see if I could get my sliced Challenge Griffo to hold air... GREAT SUCCESS!
In the AM, Lauren and I headed down to a not so ghetto area of Baltimore, called Inner Harbor. Lots of cool boats, restaurants, light houses and all sorts of things like that. It just so happened the Red Sox were playing the Orioles that afternoon, which would have been cool to check out, but I had some racing to do. After some breakfast out on the awesome little dock, we headed up the Druid Hill Park for the Charm City Cross. I wanted to get plenty of laps in on that tire to see if it would still hold up underneath me. It was holding like a champ, so I decided I was going to run that tire/wheel combo since it was a bit dry, dusty and slippery at times.
It's amazing how your expectations can change in a few hours. My whole goal for the weekend was to get at least 1 UCI point to secure a decent starting spot for this whole year. Well now after some minor success and a whole lot of what coulda been talk I was nervous again, but because I wanted to race at the front and try to get on the podium. No more of that 10th place and 1 UCI point nonsense. These guys are actually human and now I was actually believing that I CAN race with them.
Same second row starting spot in pretty much the same exact field. I got a little better start and didn't have to work as hard to find the guys I wanted to be racing with. This course was quite a bit harder and with a lot more getting off the bike and running. Anyone who knows me, knows I don't run unless I'm being chased, I'm practically allergic to it. The running sections made it pretty tough on me, but everyone was suffering it seemed. The front group had basically the same make up as the day before, but Frattini crashed early and it took him a bit to get back up there. I went a whole lot deeper to stay in the front group on day 2, but it the group kept steadily shrinking.
Coming through the start/finish I head the bell and looked up and couldn't believe that it was actually THE bell. I didn't even realize that the race was almost over. Frattini was off the front and gone at this point, but Myerson and former Canadian National CX champ Mike Garrigan were only a few seconds up the road. I didn't want to make the effort to drag myself, Ryan Dewald and Wes Schempf across to them and then get last out of the 5 of us, but we also didn't have time to play games with Tyler Wren chasing hard by himself. Plus, he had been so fast all day on the uphill road section leading to the finish, that I didn't want to let him into the sprint. Decisions decisions... Well we didn't quite make it across to Myerson and Garrigan, but Wren didn't catch us either. I opened up my sprint as soon as we hit the pavement and got a nice gap and was able to ride across for 4th place and 12 fatty UCI Points. No I didn't get to stand on the podium, but this was the ride that I had wanted to put together and I was pretty jazzed up about it. Hopefully finally turning the corner and racing at that next level with some of the guys I was able to race with this weekend will lead to some more good finishes in the big races this
I don't know what that face says, but it's the one I was making as soon as I climbed off my bike. Pain? Surprise? Fear? Who knows, but I can tell you that I was pretty pumped.
Off to Madison, WI this weekend for the first 2 USGP's of the year. Thanks for readin'!