US Master's Road National Championships, June 28-July 4, Louisville, KY
45 to 49 Men's Road Race
Brian Todeschini and Joe Paulson lined up this afternoon to fly the Vic's blue in the 10 lap, 50 mile 45+ road race, scheduled to start at 2 PM, but delayed for 30 minutes while officials sorted out a protest in the previous 40 to 44 race. Joining the blue boys in representing Colorado was Bob Dahl of Excel Sports.
When the race finally got under way the large field rolled out under partly cloudy skies, with the temperature and humidity quite reasonable by Louisville standards. On the first lap, a rider attacked, and was quickly joined by two other adventurous souls, while most of the pack probably echoed Joe's thought that the move was way too early to succeed.
The field quickened the pace in pursuit of the escapees, and the first couple of trips up the big climbs were uncomfortable for Joe's legs after days of mostly easy riding. After they opened up, however, the climbs felt much better.
Meanwhile, the 3-man break was holding a steady lead of about a minute, and Brian, Bob Dahl, and other riders tried moves to bridge to them, but the field wasn't interested in letting additional riders up the road.
After 4 of 10 laps, Joe suddenly felt shaky with hunger, and he realized that he had mis-gauged his eating prior to the afternoon start, compounded by the delayed start and forgetting his pre-race snack back in the hotel room. He started downing his gel and energy drink as quickly as he could, but the lights went out with 2 laps to go.
With time running out, Brian tried again to make something happen, but the field stayed together to the final climb to the finish, where Bob Dahl took 2nd in the field sprint to snag the 5th and final podium spot. Brian rolled across the line in 20th, and Joe limped in 32nd, then headed straight for the van to start re-fueling in hopes of recovering for his time trial ride tomorrow morning.
Meanwhile Mike is exploring all manner of bandage and bracing technology in hopes of keeping his wounds and pain in check.
Road Race Results on 06/30/09