|JB's race recaps: Race on!|
|Written by Joel Boelke|
Between jumping into CX and a mild winter that kept us riding, it's hard to say the season is "just starting", but each part of the year is different, and road race season kicks things to a different level. I've been feeling good this spring and decided to make a run at the MCF cat 3 ROY. I guess I decide that every year, at least until I don't get to the right races and stop bothering. but this year I decided to make a little more effort to actually get to the ROY races. Ken Woods is first on tap this weekend. Figuring if I really want to do well I probably shouldn't make that my very first race, so I decided to throw my lot into Opus on Tues for a good high-intensity warmup, get used to the pack, and see where I stand. Given Opus is 1/2/3 and knowing how fast some of the people from last weeks results sheet are, I figured I didn't stand a chance of winning, but would definately get a good workout.
So Opus rolls around and Tues mid-day the nerves start up a bit. knowing I wouldn't have much warmup time (have to bring Pierce to boy scouts first) I made the most of some light spinning over lunch in our company workout room, and then did some good stretching before heading home. That really helped limber up and get some confidence. I ended up getting there in time for some decent warmup and watched an enormous pack line up. So I placed myself right behind Bman, Ben S, and the whole Balance crew knowing they were most likely going to light it up so it was best to at least start in good position. There was also significant presence from the other regular teams and some pain-banking was about to begin.
The wistle blew and it took a few moments for everyone to spread out from the squished starting line, then someone decided to hit the "ludicris speed" button and off we went. My spedometer wasn't reading for some reason, but I topped out my max gear on the way down the hill and noticed there was serious leaning going into the bottom stretch. I stayed calm and fought to hold my spot. I was feeling good. The first sprint came and I was still near the top 15'ish and could see it. At that point I think I could have even made a run to stay with it but knew that would end in a complete blow-up, and that was not the goal. So I kept an even keel and felt good for several laps. I figured I did not have 18 climbs up the hill in me but would see how long I would last. And the pace was really hot. At about lap 8 I started struggling and couldn't hold position and by lap 10-11'ish I was done and faded off the back, just not able to sustain the pace. I loped along a lap alone and finally pulled over. I watched two laps go by and Steve and Tim started prodding to get back in it, they weren't pulling riders and get back out there. I wasn't sure if they were kidding, and finally decided that i was there to race and do some intensity so why not. I headed back out and made my way up the hill slow enough for the lead group to catch up about the time the downhill started, so I could slip back in. That actually worked out well, and I spun up as they came through. Suprisingly I hung on and did 2 or 3 laps staying to the finish.
What a race. I know I'm not cat 2 ready, but decided that if I could consistently get to these I might be able to hang in the whole race in a few weeks. So in the end, objective met. I decided I felt good, hung in for a decent time, and felt like I wasn't completely out of place. Confidence restored and a few days of recovery and I am excited to give Ken Woods a go! Fitness feels good, now I can just stress over getting through 63 miles of racing...
Thanks to everyone for sticking around to cheer!
Beth Anne Leasure
We Proceeded On...exploring on two wheels.
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