Racing tales from the great Pacific Northwest

Monday, August 27, 2012

2012 Boston Harbor Circuit Race

Boston Harbor was going to be my only race in a five week span.  There was a two week gap on the WSBA calendar prior and we were starting a two week vacation the day after.  It was a crazy week leading up to the race.  I was busy at work trying to rap up a big project so it wouldn't be hanging over my head while on vacation.  At night we were frantically trying to get ready for our trip and on Friday we went to a concert and stayed out way to late.  I actually woke up Saturday morning later than usual and realized I had no idea what time my race started.  I quickly checked the schedule and had to hustle to get everything ready and get out the door with any kind of hope of getting some warm up time in.  The race was only 36 miles long so I wanted to at least pedal around for a bit. 

I pulled out of the driveway thinking I'd still have plenty of time to get registered, dressed and warmed up before my start.  All was good......NOT.  Holy shit!!! the traffic was horrible.  I-405 was completely backed up.  I-5 was fine until Tacoma where we slowed to a crawl again.  I checked the traffic and saw there was no real let up until Olympia.  I was now in jeopardy of not making the race.  Lucky for me my in-laws live in Lacey and I new back roads to the the venue.  I made it there with 20 minutes to spare.  Warm up, who need to warm up?

I had to rush to get ready and soon realized that it was pretty hot out.  I checked and it was pushing 90 degrees.  No base layer needed.  I rolled over to the start and hooked up with teammates Aaron, Matt, Dave and Jay.  As we pedaled over to the staging area I realized I only had one water bottle.  I thought about going back to get another but since it was only a 36 mile race I figured I didn't need it.  I sat in the staging area for several minutes before I decided to go back an just grab 2nd bottle with only water in it.  Thank God I did!

The course is on a six mile loop with rolling hill.  There is on short kicker about 2K from the finish that can break up the field.  We were doing six laps for a total of 36 miles.

We rolled out and things were pretty tame for the first few minutes but that ended when we reached the back side of the course.  I had motivation to get in a break.  We were leaving on a two week vacation after the race and  that if it came down to a mass sprint I had better sit up.  I had crashed with 30m to go here two years ago and my wife was not going to deal with a whiny, road rashed, broken caller boned person while on a two week vacation.  So,  one way or another I was going to get in a break.

I think I started the first break with Greg(Farestart) and things heated up after that.  The pace was hard for the rest of the 1st lap but nothing got away.  

I wanted something to go early so when we got to the kicker right before the end of the lap I attacked again.  This time Erik(Olympia Ortho) jumped with me and by the time we reached the start/finish we had a good sized gap.  I flicked my elbow for him to pull through but he didn't.  I kept hammering and after another 20 seconds I flicked again and he still wouldn't pull through.  I asked him what was up and he said he didn't like that it was only two of us.  I sat up.  More attacks went after we were brought back but they were all covered.

When we reached the back side of the course for the 2nd time I managed to get in a break with nine others.  Aaron and Matt made the cut so we really wanted to try to make this stick.  We quickly got a gap and I thought all was good but at first only a few of us were working at the front to help increase the gap.  Initially Greg(Farestart), me Trevor(Olympia Ortho) and Gary(Audi) were trading most of the pulls.  I was worried that this was going to fall apart soon and I started yelling at others to help.  Some started taking pulls here and there but that was it.  There was no way I was going to let the pack catch us so I just kept trading pull, mainly with Greg and Trevor. 

At the started lap three I noticed how hot it was getting and was glad to have a water bottle I could pour over my head.  I still wasn't confident that our break was going to make it but more guys were started to at least help so I was able to get a little rest.   After rolling together for a while guys started to make moves off the front.  Matt and Aaron had a couple of good digs off the front and after that things really started to heat up.  I got into a mini break with Greg and a couple others but Greg and I were the only two working so we sat up. 

Things pretty much went the same way for the next couple of laps and I could tell it was starting to take a toll on some of the guys.  Matt, Aaron and I were all still feeling good so I was hoping to keep things moving at fast pace.  As we made our way around the course for the last lap Matt and Erik rolled slowly off the front.  It was more of an gradual acceleration than an attack.  I was sitting first wheel with Aaron right behind me.  We just sat there waiting for others to take charge but no one did.  Finally, after they had a small gap Greg jumped hard to bridge.  No one else went.  There slowly increased and none of the guys w/out teammates made any attempt to make a move.  Matt has done so much hard work for us all year and I was more than happy to return the favor.  Aaron and I just held court up front and waited for someone to jump.  Finally, Gary and Randy made moves to try to haul them in.  Aaron and I took turns getting on their wheels.  They worked their asses off but go absolutely no help from any of the other that didnt' have guys off the front.  I'm guessing they had nothing left in the tank.  After Randy and Gary made several super human efforts to bridge they finally gave up.  No one else made an attempt and our group slowed to a conversational pace.  Gary didn't want to keep killing himself just so guys sitting in could blow by us at the finish.   We were probably riding at about 15 mph and did nothing until we made the turn that goes downhill and leads to the final climb.  We talked about the finish and since only three were up the road that we would still race it out. 

We got to the climb and I jumped out of the saddle to get things going.  After a few seconds I looked back and was surprised to see that no on had jumped with me.  I decided that I had to keep going.  After reaching the top of the climb the road takes a slight right turn that leads to the finish.  It's a false flat and there is over 1K to go.  I had a good sized lead but when I turned my head again I saw Randy on the front going full gas.  Shit, I'm going to turn myself inside out and end up 10th.  I basically had nothing left in the tank.  I was just about to sit up when I saw the 200m marker coming up.  I decided to get out of the saddle and go into double suffer mode until I got to the sign.  At about 150m I looked back again and saw that Randy had sat up and now Aaron was in the lead.  I didn't care if Aaron caught me so I relaxed and just pedaled tempo.  That was a lot of f'ing work for 4th place.   Matt's back went out on him and he ended up settling for 3rd.  We ended up going 3rd, 4th and 5th in a surprisingly hard race.  I was pretty happy until the drive home in the worst traffic ever.  Thank God it was time for vacation.  See Ya!

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