Monday, July 30, 2007

Concrete pylon = 1/ Cyclist = 0

Thats basically the story of the race. Fast, cross windy and one poor fool's encounter with a concrete pylon. And the pylon did not move. Starting from the beginning, nice relaxing morning with my pre-race pannokoken and a nice Bialetti. Got together with the boys racing, and saddled up and rode to the race. About a 1.5 hour ride, pretty cool out but at least it wasn't raining. Got to the race, rode part of the way with Bjorn Sealander from the US national team. Signed in, payed my 8 Euro and suited up. Nice course, not too technical, but a lot of long open stretches and some pretty serious winds (mostly cross winds). Got myself a decent start position in the first couple rows, and held my position the best I ever have in the top 10. I feel that is one of the things I had to work on most, and have improved the most in. Even managed to hold my position while eating. Have even gotten more confident defending my position, rubbing shoulders or giving a little push or tap. Nice. First 30 minutes or so went well, decent pace, but never had to push myself into the red. Sprinting well from the corners. Coming in about 40 minutes, the pack was strung out single file down the long backside, when the dude went down. The whole pack snaked around this piece of traffic furniture, but he must have had his head down, or just not been paying attention, and wham. Straight into at at about 50km/h. He went flying, bike went bouncing, and I (along with many others) had to lock up the breaks and try to pick the correct line to get through. Almost got through fine too, but got hit by the bouncing, flying bike in the leg. Sprinted away, as now the smart Belgies at the front had realized that if they upped the tempo even more, they could cause a decent split. A long chase down the straight but me well into the red. Caught back on in the next corner, but not enough time to recover before the pace went straight back up. Pop. The elastic gave out. Held the pack within about 20m, but was unable to close the final gap. Kept riding for the duration of the race for training miles. But that was all she wrote. Hard race, only about 30 finished, one gruppetto group but other than that split all over the road. After the finish, gathered our bags and rode home. Windy day at the office. Good feelings starting to come from the legs again, so pretty pumped for the UCI race on Wednesday. Going to have to race another smart, safe race to finish. Perhaps we'll see what happens, get some pain. For now, I'm enjoying a nice recovery day. An hour ride should be in order to keep the legs supple, and then some relaxing. Good stuff.

No comments: