After having a terrible weekend last week and feeling completely miserable about riding, things have really come full circle. I didn’t race last Saturday because of really bad weather canceling the race, and then on Sunday I had some apparel malfunctions (full post on that to come soon) and also got a touch of sun poisoning, so I really wasn’t feeling all too optimistic. Luckily, this weekend we had a road race in Lake Geneva, WI, and the weather was perfect for racing bikes.
The race started as most 4/5 races do: a short period of people thinking they are riding fast, and then an extended lull that drags down the pace into boringness. The course was uninteresting in terms of terrain, with only the corners there to spice things up. It was a short course, more of a circuit race if anything, with the laps being roughly 5 or so miles long.
The first three laps were pretty slow, and on the fourth lap me and two other riders attacked and managed to get away for just about the entire fourth lap. Me and the rider from the team Racers Against Childhood Cancer whom I know pretty well were riding hard in the break and feeling quite good, but the rider from Wheel and Sprocket was having a little bit of trouble staying with us. We decided to just keep things smooth and eventually we were swallowed up with one lap to go. Given the short laps, it was imperative that we recovered well if we were to have a chance for the sprint.
I had those thoughts racing through my head, but I was unfortunately on the front for about a quarter of the last lap. Luckily some riders from VisionQuest Coaching took up the pacing, trying to advance their position for the sprint. One of their riders went off on a solo breakaway, but we kept him within eyesight and he too was swallowed up, this time on the second to last straight (the southernmost section of the course). Coming around the final turn there were no problems, but the last straightaway gave its share of laughs and misery as it normally does. There were some blatant yellow-line violations (which I do not believe were enforced) as the field began to spread for the sprint. I was in the right lane, probably about two or three riders from the far right of the road. I recall that there was a rider to my left and a rider to my right just ahead of me. I was in between them, with my head at about the point where their saddles were. The rider to my left faded his line very hard to the right, forcing me into the rider next to me and my right shoulder and his left thigh collided. Incredibly, we did not go down (as I thought we were going to when it was happening), and the contact between the three of us caused us to sort of bounce off each other, and from there I opened up my sprint between them and took the win. It was very exciting to win, especially because I had lots of family present. I am also very thankful that we did not crash, as I also heard that there was a crash somewhere behind us where a guy got his bike run over by the moto. I feel very lucky for my results today, but I also know that my development as a rider has come from hard work and perseverance –and not to mention a healthy dose of learning how to ride and stay upright over these months of racing!
To top things off, with the win today I was able to apply for and receive my Cat. 3 upgrade. I am so happy to have achieved one of my big goals for the season and I am super thankful for the opportunities presented to my by both my family and my coach. I can’t wait to race next weekend at the State Road Race, where, ironically, I’ll be racing both with and against my coach! Of course we’re friends so we won’t really be racing against each other, but it’s just kind of crazy to think about. Anyways, I’ll be reporting on that as well, and I’ll also be putting out some new reviews soon. I’ve got lots to say about a certain pair of cycling shoes. Stay tuned for that and go out and enjoy this wonderful summer weather! Ciao!