The Waffle House Chronicles...

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Belleville Road Race Report

So skip ahead one week. One pretty uneventful week (perhaps I'll recap it later.) Saturday I bowed out of doing the Levis Trow 6 hour race. Wolfgram talked me into doing the Belleville Road Race. I thought, why not? I did it last year and was able to get 2nd overall and take a 1st place age group medal. I haven't trained nearly as much but I figured I'd give it a shot to see if I could hang. I get there an hour early and register and warm up. We went and checked out the finish. My strategy? Stay near the front and try not to get dropped and see how I felt at the end. The course is relatively flat with one small hill on each of 2 laps that can be tough if someone drills it. The race starts. I stay up towards the front for most of the 1st laps, I threw in one small attack and jumped on a couple others but most of the time I sat 1st, 2nd or 3rd wheel. I kind of guaged who was who, I saw the guy who won it last year and saw some other local talents (Brazen Dropouts, Michaels, Atkins, all the usuals.) Well after about 5 miles in I was able to survey and about 40 people made the cut and I was able to get up front for a photo op. The first time up the climb wasn't too bad, I was able to hang mid-pack which is about as low as I got all day. We got to the lap turnaround and one guy on a Schwinn (but not on our team) flatted. Some guy went solo for 4 miles and he wasn't a threat and no one wanted anything to do with helping him so the race went really easy as we watched him dangle 15 seconds off the front. I start plotting with Wolfgram telling him what I was going to do and what I thought he should try to do. We survived a fast back stretch and were down to about 25 people. Wolf decided to set the pace on the climb so he could jump on any attacks but also pace me up which was awesome. Once we made the move up the climb, I took one final rest for about 3 minutes and then with 3 miles to go I beelined up the inside and got myself into third wheel. The guy that was second wheel was strong and I knew would go for it (he was a Brazen Dropout rider) so I sat on his wheel and while there were many accelerations and some weak breaks he kept himself and me near the front. Finally we get about 200m from the final left turn the most serious of attacks happens. I see another guy sprinting to grab the wheel and I was able to grab his wheel without getting out of the saddle. By the turn it was a 3 man race with me in third, a guy who was already mid-sprint in 2nd and a guy who just got caught on an attack in 1st. It was probably only 150m to the line so we both got on it. I was closing fast on him and he was dying but I wasn't sure I was going to have the time. He died and threw his bike about 10m from the line but he couldn't hold me off and I took the win in a sprint finish!
I was pumped! Although I always do whatever I can to win, I thought with my lack of training I had little chance. But when everything goes perfect and my strategy plays out and I save a little something for the end I can get the job done!

The awards followed a couple hours after the finish. Which was highlighted by the apperance of the Brewers Racing Sausages! Cinco (the Chorizo) even held my trophy for good luck before smoking the competition in the sausage race they performed for the kids of Belleville. So that made it all the more fun! It was also nice to have Wolfgram race with me, he ended up 2nd in his age group in his first sprint finish ever, so that's awesome. He just needs to learn to bring appropriate podium gear so he doesn't have to sit in sweaty Lycra for a couple extra hours. And as always my personal photographer was there for the race and captured everything except for the post finish double-hands raised winner salute...I guess even the most professional of photographers can get caught up in the excitement of the moment! So it was kind of fun to go out there with my hairy legs and put some hammer down.


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