Monday, April 12, 2010
Le Tour De Monte recap (Fair Hill)
M.A.S.S. Bikeline at Fair Hill...(results)
Woke up Sunday feeling rather chipper, Must have been the extended cooldown I did after Hop Brook the day before. Loaded the car (Jocelyn and Ike in tow), picked up Chris at Home Depot and we are on our way. The M.A.S.S. series is so popular that while I was talking to Chris in the rest stop bathroom the guy in the stall next to us started to tell us about how he races expert SS and he's going to Fair Hill also. Not wanting to make acquaintances in the men's room at a rest stop I politely sneaked away, leaving Chris and his new friend. Shortly after, while washing my hands Chris tells me "I think that guy just peed on my leg". Oh My! Well that must have been the good luck charm he needed, Chris went on to win his class. Congrats. Add a stolen (sport class) 1st place medal and a bonty 29.3 tire to your pee stained sock and it equals a win. Who would have known? What an equation.
For me there was no urine soaked sock to propel me past the super fast Aaron Snyder (Scott bikes). Just a pretty good day on the bike. From the warm up I felt like I was firing on all cylinders. Heart rate in check I pushed myself to the front row. Front row at a M.A.S.S. race. Big balls? Of course the second the gun went off I was dropped to the back (couldn't get clipped in again) Shimano pedals suck! I want my ATAC's back. Working my way through the field on the opening lap I must have passed about 30 riders. On your left! On your right! The passing is so aggressive in a field this big with nobody wanting to relinquish even one spot. Super fast and tons of flow at this course put me in the groove and going into the final lap I could see Andrew Alesio and Christopher Beck (GF29er crew) ahead of me and I set my sights on them. Beck seemed pissed to be getting passed by a singlespeeder, Yelling at Andrew telling him to "go faster, a singlespeeder is about to pass you". By mid lap I had gotten rid of them and concentrated on my kick to the finish.
5th place and after a lengthy wait for awards, a c-note for my troubles.
I won't write much about the traffic on the turnpike or solar panels. I'll leave that to Jocelyn.
Hop Brook Dam....(The day before)
Feeling way too relaxed at the start is never good. I knew when James Harmon (503 cycleworks) cracked a smile as I told him I haven't raced since SSUSA it was gonna be a long day. The gun goes off and like usual I can't get clipped in. Front row to nearly dead last at the drop of a hat. Fortunately Seamus Powell lead the first twenty riders in through the out door (going up the wrong trail in the first piece of singletrack). That allowed me to reestablish my place in the pack (6th at the time). Seamus would later motor by us like a man on a mission to capture the win. He has changed his coach and made improvement over the winter and man it shows. Nice Job Seamus.
This race for me was about keeping James in sight. He's on a single speed also and my whole purpose in the pro race is always to win against the other singles first then work on picking gearies off. It's been working for me for a while so why change. Only this time James was working me over, apparently the preparation for his race in Cali coupled with my lack of racing has closed the gap between us. Digging very deep to keep him in sight I made my move on the last lap managing to put about 30 seconds into him on a very steep part of the course. Riding like a maniac to keep this gap (barely keeping from crashing) I nearly managed to bridge to John Foley (GF29er crew) but I ran out of real estate before I could make a move. 4th place and in the cash not too shabby for the first real race of the season.
It was way too hard of an effort, considering I was also registered at Fair Hill the day after. Or would it be?