Monday, May 30, 2011

Burlington Road Race

First race of the Memorial Day weekend races occurred in Burlington, and consisted of a 102 mile road race. This race has always been 80 miles in the past, but recent events in the small town of Wapello elicited to not have any part of the race. Drove to Muscatine and Chad and I headed down to the race. Lou, JJ, TJ, Chad, Jeff and myself were all there to represent for American Equity. Plan was to try and set Jeff up for a great birthday present with a win. Some big name teams were present with Texas Roadhouse, ISCorp, Aerocat, Panthers, etc.

Race always starts out fast, and no difference today. No break was sticking until around 30miles into the race when a group of 3 got away (Aerocat, Panther, Texas Roadhouse). Great......there goes the 3 strongest teams that could pull a break back. From mile 40-75 or so, the rains came and hit the peloton with a light but steady rain that soaked the body. With about 45 miles to go, Jeff calls us all the front of the group to ride tempo, and thankfully ISCorp also helped out. We had 8 guys or so rotating at 28-30mph to try and bring the break back from 4:45 down. Things were looking up as the moto ref called out splits of 3 minutes, then 2:05, but then the gap didn't go down. We were losing some power, and attacks started flying off the front. With 10 miles to go or so, the gap was down to 1:15 and it was getting close. Somehow I had ended up off the front with an ISCorp guy for about 5-10min but we were brought back, and the pack resigned itself to a field sprint. In the end, we almost caught the break, coming within 30sec of bringing it back. Jeff had good positioning and ended up 13th, I rolled in next in 27th, with the other guys finishing in the pack as well.

So this race was awesome, our first large road race together with most of the whole team and we did what we could do bring a break back. My legs were so thrashed after this race and chasing for 40 miles. Now I can say I have an idea of what it means to be a domestic riding on the front for hours upon hours to keep a break in check. Props to those guys, the team leaders couldn't do anything without you. Jeff was very happy with how we worked as a team, so that is a plus when you can make an ex-pro feel good about his team. Maybe we can set him up for a win in the same fashion this year!

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