Tuesday, June 24, 2014

And I'm Back!! Racing that is..... (Tour of KC)

So after a 6 month hiatus, I got back to racing my bike Sunday at the Tour of Kansas City. This year they brought the course back to Cliff Drive, which from what I hear was a great venue.

I was eager to get back into the swing of things and rolled down with Darrel W, also racing Cat 4. My previous season of racing road (last year) had been my first real attempt to move over from racing primarily MTB over the spring/summers. I knew the race was going to be rough and I have been dropped from every race so far, so I did a little prep on our local hill route to get as much fitness back as I could before hand.

Before the race Darrel and I ran into Dr. Smith and his fam. They both raced pretty well the day before and were back at it for some more fun, also in Cat 4. Caleb is only 14 (I think), so that is pretty humbling to have a 14 year old out performing your entire previous road season; But its awesome to see!

After running into the Smiths I see G has shown  up and on his skinny bike ready to not play very nice with the rest of us. So knowing Garrett and Micah I pretty much knew how the race was going to play out from the get go. Hold on to your shorts gents.

The course was pretty great and had a bit of everything. So the race starts and its time to see if I can remember how to do this road race thing.

Just like I knew was going to happen, G and Micah were leading the pack and pushing the pace from the get go. My main goals really for the day were to hang on as long as I could (I really had no idea where my fitness was) and 1. sprint as little as possible 2. stay the heck out of the wind as much as possible.

The course had some good turns one tricky one and a slight climb and a pretty good one. Sorry I am not very good and describing the course.

I am not sure if it was the first lap or the second but the field split in half rather quick and I'll be damned if I did not make the cut. Last year this was about the time I found myself in no-mans-land getting just dropped but holding the gap completely blowing myself up.

About half way though the race, the pace had finally slowed down a bit and we had a group of I would say 15. Each lap we would group together pretty nice the big climb would string everyone out for a little and repeat. I found myself chasing back on a couple of times but was able to keep in the group without too much trouble.

G basically lead out each and every lap of the race blowing himself up a bit in the process, but I was enjoying the free ride. Even rode up and gave him some words of encouragement at one point. In the meantime seeing what the front of the race looked like that far into it, first time for me.

Anyway, chatting with one of my favorite rivals, the infamous Mr. Keck, aka SC, Mr. cool glasses, post pictures of my socks on Instagram had to inform me that we had only 3 laps left. Holy crap! If the race keeps the same pace, I am actually going to see the front come finish time.
The hard climb at the end of the circuit. I just don't climb well seated, tried it one lap, but did not work out for me.
Once we came though they dropped a lap so this was the final lap. I knew the pace was going to pick up, and it did. I had to sprint on a couple times when we were strung out. I knew if I lost touch the group would be long gone. Coming down to Cliff Drive I thought if I could hit the hill close to the front, I could pull out a nice result here. So that's exactly what I did,  I hit the hill maybe 5-8 deep and put in a good effort until I got squeezed out and had to find another line. I got around a couple guys when I see two go down right in front of me, then Micah tumbled right over them. I was lucky I was slow enough to not get caught up in it. I weaved around and climbed as hard as I could. Hit the top of the hill and I hear SC's fan club hollering at him so I knew he was right on my arse. Hit the top of the hill, I looked back and SC kept on coming and to my surprise pulled though. I jumped on his wheel and eventually out sprinted him (Buddy it was a perfect lead out!) for 4th. Whoda thought!

That was fun, lets do it again!