Saturday was the Iowa State Road Race Championships in West Branch. Bethany and I got up, had a good breakfast at my parents house and drove down. Got my number pinned up and bottles sorted out with the team. 4 Laps around a 27 mile loop made for 108 miles and a long day in the saddle. The weather turned out to be awesome, a little chilly at the start, and a bit warm at the end. Wind also played a decent sized role in the race with wind speeds around 10-15mph.
45 riders, 25 Cat 3's lined up for the Cat 1,2,3 race. Cat 3's ended up being separate in both placing and prize money, which helps the mentality, knowing that there is a better chance to get some mula. We were off and for the first lap, it was pretty chill as no one really wanted to be in a break for 85+miles.
At the start of the 2nd lap, a group of about 6 guys got off the front, and a chase group of 3 after them, all containing the major teams and 1 Cat 3 was among them with Ryan French(All9Yards). The pace slowed down and two guys from Colorado started setting tempo. After a while, the chase group came back which included Bryan Moritz (Bikes2You). They now had no one in the break and had to set tempo for the next 2 laps. At the start of the last lap, the break seemed to be gone and we went through the feed zone, I saw Duey Dickey and Jeff Barnes (ICCC) as well as Paul Deninger (Zoom) go to the front before we turned north. I knew they were gonna put the hammer down and so I got into about 6th wheel.
I was right, once we were going north, they pushed the pace and when I looked back, a split had occured in the peloton, only about 10 of us made the junction. I was hoping not many 3's would have made it, but I was wrong. Shreck(All9), Kris Kunze(Rassy), Sarge(Wheaton), Brendan Keely (ICCC) had all made the split. We were crusing a long and we ended up catching Clark Preibe and Ryan French. That means us 5 were going to battle it out for the top 3 in the state.
We got through the feed zone in Cedar Bluff and Duey made an acceleration that took Jeff Barnes and Jerod Osterloh(All9) with him. These 3 were gone, and the group was down to about 8. With no one coming back from behind, we just set a nice tempo and rode to the finish. I was chatting with Sarge, who lives in Decorah and we have trained together all year. Both of us were cramping.
Turning west, there were some accelerations and we ended up also catching Lou Waugaman(Rassy). Shrek put in a large attack with about 1.5 miles to go and Sarge and I chased it down the best we could. Lou then put in an attack to get rid of Paul and Joe Hetrick. This is when Kris and Brendan chased a while and we stablized Shreks gap. Coming up the finishing hill, I had no snap in my legs but Sarge was able to shoot out and pass Shrek for the win!! I ended up in 3rd place in the 3's and 12th overall in the Cat 1'2'3.
Much better than last year, where I punctured at the start of the 3rd lap and DNF. This was also my FIRST ride ever over 100 miles. I didn't know what what happened, but my training helped out a lot and I had a lot of fun. With my 3rd place, I am pretty sure I have enough points to upgrade to a Cat 2. I am going to wait til the end of the year to try and get my upgrade, just to get a bit more experience.
I am going to Kansas City with Bethany this weekend for the Tour of KC crits on Saturday and Sunday. I always remember some good results for Iowa boys.
A bit thanks to Vern and Larry for their help in the feed zone, wouldn't have finished without you! Also, ICCC and Mark Guthart for all their work to make this a great event.