Racing tales from the great Pacific Northwest

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Market Street/Joe Bar Road Race

You all know how I can ramble on when I'm excited about something. This is not one of those times. There really isn't much to say about this race. It was a beautiful day and a good course. We had a good turnout in the Cat 3 field with 70 riders but maybe after doing a few stage races and some hard single day races this one just didn't do it for me. The course was mainly flat with a couple of small climbs and one tight turn after a downhill section. We rolled out and of course, attacks started right away. I started up front and after a few unsuccessful attacks I decided to go with one. It lasted about two minutes and it didn't cost me much. More attacks were attempted and I went with a couple of them and none ever got away. During each lap there were always a couple of places to move up if you wanted to. We were always strung out on the back side in a section by a power station, on the downhill towards the sharp right turn and on the climb before the finish. On 2nd to last lap I tried going on on a break one last time and like all the others, it never got organized. I decided it was not worth doing any more work up front so I drifted back to talk to teammates. I found that Jordan had flatted and had withdrawn from the race. Mark and I decided to just sit in and until the last lap and then move up at that section by the power station and position ourselves up front for the sprint. The problem was that since no one was out in front the whole field slowed down and for the last four or so kilometers we were one, tight, slow moving can of sardines. There was no way to move up. We were sitting about 35th wheel and were getting frustrated. We were able to move up a little on the sharp right turn but then we slowed to a crawl again. Everyone up front wanted to hold their position and no one was willing to jump. We hit the final hill before the finish and I was ready to fly through the slower climbers. No such luck. We crawled up the climb and no one made an attempt to attach. We could not move up. My only chance was to be ramped up when the move came. 1k, no one went, 300m, no one went, Finally when the road opened at 200m everyone jumped. I felt really strong and with Mark on my wheel I swung out into the wind and started to drive. We were flying past guys and with about 50m to go Mark went around me. We passed a lot of guys but only managed to get 14th and 19th place. Not a bad finish for a field of 70 but I was really hoping for a top 5. It was our own fault and we should have stayed up front where we were the whole race. Oh well, you live and learn. On to the Wenatchee Omnium.

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