Saturday, June 30, 2012

ToAD Waukesha Carl Zach Classic

Day three of the Tour of America's Dairyland was going to be tough with the most technical of the series so far. The roads were the worst so far with cracks, bumps, and man hole covers everywhere. The road were also very narrow for a couple of stretches and just a few hundred yards from the start line there was a turn that was very close to 180 degrees. After that we flew up a narrow side street that was very bumpy and in the middle of the next turn was a crack going parallel to our direction. This ended up causing quite a few accidents though out the race. After that right hand turn was a nice wide open road on nice pavement but that seemed to be the windiest spot on the course so most of the time we were lined out and sprinting to stay in contact if you were too far back. Then it was a left and a two rights with the second to last right being downhill, wide, and decent pavement. After this you flew through a long sweeping right turn but it was some of the worst pavement on the course.

Every lap the race was to the first turn. We sprinted through the finish line and everyone was working hard to get a good spot to go through the turn. Most times we went through 3 or 4 wide and then it was a sprint again to try and stretch the field out. If you were too far back you were going to be hurting bad very quickly!

I finally got smart and got a start position on front line of the field. I knew I was still going to have to fight hard to stay on the front but getting a good start would at least help me save a little energy for later. Like every other day we started fast, this time though there was a team on the front blocking most of the field and two of their team members were riding off the front. After only two turns I found myself between those two riders and the rest of the field so I decided I would try to go for the break. I made it up to the two riders and quickly we were joined by another very strong rider, Hogan Sills. I actually thought this might work, I also thought that if it did this was going to be a hard race. After 2 or 3 laps off the front though we were realed back in. Almost as soon as we were back in the pack more riders were trying to go off. The speed never slowed and this hurt. I wanted a chance to catch my breath but in these races you either had the fitness and the speed and accelerations didn't bother you, or you were me and they did.

I had planned on not going for any preems during any more of the races, instead focusing on placing high in the finish. But for one preem I was placed just too high in the field, and I had a great shot at the line to not go for it. I took a small $20 preem and man did I pay for it. For the rest of the race I was trying to get back on terms with the rhythm of the race. As the race neared the end the speed kept increasing, attacks kept launching, and crashes started happening. For the most part I think the crashes at this race happened because of the course conditions, and what appeared to be riders with too high of air pressure in their tires. I saw a few examples of guys who slid out but saved it in turns that were not that fast or hard. That is why I think they had their tires pumped up too much. There were only two crashes that effected me however. The first was with 2 laps to go. A rider went down on turn two right in front of me from hitting the parallel crack in the road at the wrong angle. I was able to get by him but had to scrub speed and take a wide turn. This caused me to have to chase very hard to try and get back in touch with the rest of the field. Then with one lap to go a large crash happened in turn one taking out most of the leaders of the race. I actually was far enough back that I had a very easy time getting though the crash. The way this crash effected me though was it moved me way up in the standings. I am not sure where I would have finished but it looked like there were about 10 guys on the ground when I went by. It is hard to tell though when you are deprived of oxygen and just wanting to make it to the end.

I ended up 17th overall and 4th in cat 3. Not a bad day over all. I was really excited that my family was able to come and watch. They brought a grill and we cooked fish and burgers. Good day.

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