Just got back from the Tour de Syracuse.
Crit on Saturday, TT and road race earlier today.
I'm still looking for that elusive 'W,' but it was a good weekend of racing. I finished second in the road race, and fourth overall in the omnium.
Here are the details: I raced this weekend with Anthem team mates Erik and Austin.
Team strategy for the crit was to send me up the road as much as possible, while saving Erik for the likely field sprint. I spent the first seven of 22 laps off the front, first with another rider, then solo for a while, getting caught just in time to loose a prim sprint for a pair of Giro sunglasses. Bummer.
I spent the rest of the race trying to keep the race together for a sprint, but despite my best efforts, one rider got up the road, and survived to win by about 8 seconds. Behind, I was too spent by the last three laps to do much of anything. I came to the front one last time, but eventually it was up to Erik, and he wound up around 12th, I think. I brought in the rear, slightly behind Austin. It was real windy during the race. The wind died down immediately afterwards ... just in time for a deluge during the elite women's race.
The TT was really short, only 7 miles on some very moderate rollers. Other than one turn, I was able to ride the whole course without coming out of the aero bars, but it wasn't enough. I was the second rider to start, and I was feeling less than stellar about riding my TT bike for only the second time this season in a race setting, but so it goes. There was a strong headwind on the first stretch of road. I made up some ground on my 30-second man, but never got within passing distance. I had a few places where I didn't take the best line, or where I chose the wrong gear, and wound up 12th, about 30 second down on Rick Gorton (Battenkill-United), who put in a very quick time of 6:30. Then it was time to warm down a bit and kill time until the road race.
The road race is two 27-mile laps. Starts with a long downhill-to-rolling stretch which had a strong head wind today. Then there were a series of climbs of varying length and severity. The lap wrapped up with another rolling-to-downhill stretch with a tail wind back to the start. The finish was on top of a mile-long climb.
There were some little attacks on the opening headwind stretch, but nothing was really doing and we just rolled along until one guy attacked and got a solid gap. Shortly thereafter we took the right onto the climb, and Erik opened the aggression launching an acceleration up the climb's opening slopes. Some one dragged the field back to him and I countered, springing myself with a Full Moon Vista rider. We got a big gap almost immediately, so we kept drilling it, catching the solo leader.
I kept things rolling through the climbs, but the field was starting to come back. Coming up a steep 300 meter kicker, the field had nearly brought us back when Wayne Brey (sp?) came across with a CRCA junior and a Corning guy. Now with a solid group of riders, we pinned it, setting up a solid rotation and hammering on the downhill toward the finish. It hurt, but it was working and our gap grew and grew.
We had about a 90-second gap when we started our second lap, and hammered through the head wind, extending our lead. I later heard that when the field started the climb on the second lap, we'd grown our lead to three minutes. At some point in the headwind we blew through the men's 55-plus fields. The pace up the climb's opening slopes wasn't too bad, and we all stuck together, except the one guy we dropped. We were getting ready to pass the women's field when trouble arose on a long gradual uphill, when Wayne put in a big dig -- probably trying to impress some girl.
I had been on his wheel, but quickly became unhinged. I kept the pace as high as I could, now with the CRCA kid and the Corning rider. We rode through the back of the women's field, passing dropped riders, but not really gaining on a very solid Wayne. Of course, it wasn't helping that my break-away companions weren't pulling through, claiming exhaustion.
At first, I was getting frustrated, but I resisted the urge to scream and yell, and instead told the other riders that is we worked together, we could catch Wayne. "This is the podium right here," I believe, were my exact words.
It didn't work at all. Almost immediately thereafter, I'd dropped the Corning guy, and I was left along with the CRCA rider, who I did my best to encourage. Riding together, we zipping along the down wind, playing cat-and-mouse with the women's field, alternately passing them, and then being passed.
At some point, the CRCA guy came unhinged, and I was left to TT it in on my own, now without any real hope of catching a speeding Wayne.
I started the finishing climb just behind the women's field, but quickly passed them, riding as fast as my race-weary legs could manage. The CRCA guy held on for third, and Corning was either fourth or fifth, dramatically collapsing in the grass upon finishing.
Afterwards, we sat around for three hours waiting to claim prize money, which was annoying. While I thought the courses were great, and the format fun, this race was a little rough around the edges in terms of organization. Word on the street was that turnout was larger than in the past, which gave organizers a challenge.
No matter, I'd come back.
Andy Ruiz, of Keltic won the overall in the men's 45+, and Matt Godeke had a great ride in the men's 4 race. Great ride guys!
I've got to tally my points, I think I may be getting close to my jump to the big leagues...
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Just got back from the Tour de Syracuse.