Racing tales from the great Pacific Northwest

Monday, March 21, 2011

2011 Tour de Dung Road Race #1

Normally I don't have to race until the afternoon so it was hard to get up at 4:30am to make the trek over to Sequim. I stumbled around the house for a good 15 minutes before I even realized I was awake. I had packed up the rv Friday night so all I had to do was grab breakfast, some coffee and wait for Mark to show up. We were on the road at 5:15 so we could meet Jordan at the ferry dock and catch a 6:10 ferry. It was Jordan's first race of the season so he was pretty jacked. When we boarded the ferry we had high overcast skys and looked pretty promising but when we drove off in Kingston it was pouring.....Hard! What the hell just happened? Oh yeah, we live in Seattle! I was promised by a couple of the Audi guys on the ferry that we would have clear skys for the race. I was going to seek them out in the parking lot and give them hell. As you know, it is illegal for it to rain in Sequim. It did seem that about the time we entered the city limits the rain stopped and the sun was showing itself. Hurray for the rain shadow!

We arrived a lot earlier then we expected so we had plenty of time to warm up. Five of us rolled up to the line. Cameron hadn't raced on the road in 10 years and just wanted to hang in the pack to get the feeling back. Vern is just starting to ramp up for track and was ready to do what ever he needed to for Jordan, Mark and me. We had a medium size field of 48 riders and several teams like Fairstart, Audi and Bikesale were also well represented. We rolled off for the start of our five lap, 60 mile race and the attacks started right away. Mark and I took turns going with them but none stuck. I don't quite remember when it happened but don't think it could have been more then five or six miles into the race. Mark started a break that looked like it had a chance. They stayed out for a while but they were brought back. Right away another attack mounted and I jumped on. We also got little gap but we couldn't get organized. The second we were brought back another attack went and there were a good group of strong riders in it, including Vern! For the first minute or so it didn't look like it had a chance. It seemed like they were not organized and Phil(Audi) had jumped late and was still trying to bridge. They were scattered into three small groups. Soon enough they did all come together and started to pull away. There were 9 or 10 guys in the break and each of the strong teams had at least one guy in it. Now it was time to play the role of super domestique and see if we could help keep them away. Any time someone jumped to try to bring them back one of us, along with someone from Audi and Fairstart were in their slipstream to help disrupt things. Pretty soon the gap jumped up to over a minute. With that many strong guys in the break I knew they had a chance to make it stick.

The next few laps were basically the same. Guys from teams that didn't have anyone in the break attacked and we jumped on the tail end of their attack to disrupt their flow. It was actually a little boring but gratifying at the same time. The constant accelerations were starting to have an affect on my legs and I was wondering if I would have anything left at the end. As we were staring lap four Tom, who was the official for our race pulled along side and told us that the CAT 4 field was on our heals and if we didn't get our asses moving we would get neutralized. It is funny how a bike racer's ego works. I don't think anyone wanted to get caught by them and our pace picked up dramatically. I think everyone kind of knew that the break was going to stay away and that we were now racing for 9th or 10th place.

On the last laps started picking which attacks I would go with. I was really keying on Ryan G.(Farestart) and Phil(Audi). If they went, I went. As we came around the back side of the course we could see someone up the road. Was that someone from another field? As we got closer we realized it was Vern. As we passed him he told us he was sorry. Sorry for what? He did a great job for someone who had no intentions of "mixing it up".

We finally came up on the final turn which quickly leads us down the long straightaway to the finish. The 1K mark came up quickly and we were all jockeying for position. Mark was up front and everyone seemed to be keying on him and would not pass. When the sprint started I just jumped on Marks wheel and hoped for the best. At about 1oom I came around him and was able to finish 6th in the field sprint for 14th overall.

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