Question: Where do people move when they become too angry to deal with the rest of society? Answer: Ravensdale! OK, I'm guessing most of the people that actually live there are genuinely nice but each year it seems like there are more angry d-bags driving around here than any other placed I've raced. Anyway......
I don't know how anyone could get angry on a day like last Saturday. It was sunny and temps were going to reach the mid 70's. I lined up for the Pro/1/2 race with Kyle, John, Zach, Michael, Mike, Kevin and Jason. I knew that since we were on a pretty fast course and only going 65 miles that the attacks would come early and often. I just didn't think one would start during our neutral roll out. Yeah, that's what I said, during the Neutral roll out. Just after entering the course a large group of guys gapped the rest of the field. I admit that their are many times when I don't catch everything the race director or officials bark at us prior to the start but I'm sure we were supposed to start neutral. Maybe not? Pretty much every team had at least two guys in this 15 or so man break. This could easily stick! Well, we were basically zero miles into the race and I was starting to mentally prepare to just stroll around course until the gap got too big to actually catch. Just before they would have disapeared around turn one they immidiately slowed to a crawl. Ahh, I guess we were supposed to be neutral. I'm not sure what had been going on but we were all back together before turn one. About two seconds later the horn blasted and the race was on.....again.
The attacks started immediately and I was much happier to know that I at least had a chance to get in a break. Pretty much everyone in the field was going with one attack or another. I was hoping that Zach, Kyle or John could get in the right one and if only one of them made it I could try to join on. I was feeling pretty good and I really wanted to help them out. John and Kyle seemed to pretty motivated early on and I soon moved to the front as well. I immidiately jump with a couple of guys and got a gap. We didn't stay away long but it felt good to rev up the engine. Right after we were brought back another group took off. I'm not sure who all was in it but KR, Audi and HSP all had two strong guys each. John was with them. I'm guessing there were at least 8 guys and I think the only good sized team that missed out was Bikesale. They didn't immediately come to the front so the break easily increase their gap. Bikesale did finally come to the front and put in a couple of digs but it didn't really do much. Soon the break had a developed comfortable lead. After a while we started to attack again in hopes of getting one of us across to help John out. We knew it would be tough going but it was better than just sitting in and waiting for shit to happen. Hopefully one of us could get free with a small, motivated group. Kyle and Zack started things off for us and I soon joined in. Other teams seemed to be equally motivated and I could sence that a 2nd group could eventually get free. There was really no rest at this point. We we constantly strung out and with the rising temps it was turning into a tough race.
It was getting hotter than I anticipated. With no feed zone I was starting to wonder if I should have stuffed a third bottle in my jersey. I wasn't going to conserve at this point but I didn't want to run out before the last lap. I'm not sure when it was (I think I lost track of a lap somehow) Kyle rolled up to me and asked how I was feeling. I told him I was doing fine. He told me to jump on his wheel while on the downhill section. We flew past the field and I was able to keep my mometum through the sharp right hander and up the climb. I think Lang was the one who jumped first??
I decided to repond and easily cruised to the top with a small gap. After we crossed the line we were eventually joined by David and Randy from HSP and a few others. We got a little gap and with the guys we had I thought we could get away but we never really got organized. I think we got caught soon after getting around corner one.
Blah, Blah, Blah, skip forward and finally a 2nd group did get away and Kyle made the cut. They probably had 10 in this one. Let's see, 8 in the first break, 10 in this one, not really much else to do. I was a little bummed I missed out on the first one (this one didn't really matter) since I was feeling really good but that's how it goes sometimes. You get in a break and if fails and the next one gets away. At least I had teammates in both of them. We had pretty much slowed to a crawl when the officials came up to us with two laps to go and told us the 3's had a break and they were only 30 seconds behind. This was there final lap and we didn't want to be in the way of their finish sprint (translation: We didn't want to get caught by the 3's). Ten or so of us started a nice double pace line and we got moving. We might catch the 2nd break but that one didn't really matter. We kept pushing at a steady pace. It wasn't super fast, just enough to keep us rolling. We started the final lap and we were actually closing in on the 2nd break. No attacked. There was really no point. We finally arrived at the final corner before the climb to the finish. I was still feeling good and decided I wanted to test the legs and go hard. There was really no point but I just wanted to do it. I kicked it like it was for all the marbles and a few guys did decided to go as well. I crossed the line in 19th and was really happy with how I worked for the team today.
John ended up 7th and Kyle 11th. We found out soon after we finished that Aaron won the Masters 1/2/3 race. We have had a good string of wins in that field. Hopefully we can keep it going at Enumclaw next weekend.
photos by Denise Phillips
photos by Denise Phillips