Monday, June 25, 2012

ToAD East Troy Classic

I have been up in Wisconsin racing at the Tour of America's Dairyland. It is a great series put on up here over the last few years, and it only seems to be getting bigger and better. Last year I only did a few races and fell in love with the event. Each town really gets into the whole scene and it feels like a party every day.

The first race in the series for the cat 2/3 men was in East Troy, WI. It was a great little town and had a very technical and short course. I arrived with plenty of time to check things out, get signed up, set up my new Quantum Mesa Cycles tent in someone's front yard, (The local people are super nice) and get ready for my race at 2pm.

My fitness has been a little off so I didn't really know what to expect. All the races I have do in 2/3s this year have been very tough. The only thing really helping me here was the course was flat, but with all the turns, and how short it was it could still have been very tough if I hung out in the back too long. I got a crappy starting position at the back and then I had the worst clip in I have ever had in a race. I think we were around turn 1 and 2 before I finally got my cleat in. The race was really fast from the start. There are a lot of very strong 2s and 3s and they seem to like to put the hurt to the rest of us from the gun. Once I was able to move up to the top 5-10 places though the race got pretty easy for me. I just  concentrated on cycling back up a few riders if someone passed me, always thinking "If I'm not moving up, I am moving back." There were a few early breaks that tried to go, and I think I went with one, but nothing early really had any chance. Also I was really trying to concentrate on saving as much energy as I could to sprint. That is my goal for the week, to sprint well every day. 

With about 15 min to go Brian Ellison from the Cutting Crew went up the road and he was gone, quick! In just a couple laps he had 25 seconds on us, and I didn't feel like we slowed down at all. Another strong rider from RACC tried to ride up to him, but once he started to get out of sight KS Energy started to ride more at the front and pulled him back. I feel like my mistake I made in the race happened with about 5 laps to go. They rang the bell for a preem and I tried to go for it with 4 corners to go, I never checked to see if I had anyone with me until coming around the last turn, and even then I tried to out power the guy to the line. All that did was take even more energy and now when I jumped back into the pack I was 20 places off the front and we were going faster and faster. I was only able to move up a few spots by the end and finished 16th, one out of the money. Grrrrrr.

The positive I took from the race was that I was well within myself for most of the race. The negative is I still need to think more, especially when I am racing so many riders that are better than me. I want to think that I am a smart rider, so I have to start riding like one, one of these days.
The new tent, people have been digging it!
Pretty sunset as I drove from STL to Chicago Thursday night

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