Monday, June 20, 2011

35+ rounds out the podium

Amazing day of racing by the 65s, 55s, and 45s!! The 35+ was represented by Rob, Mike S and me. The race started out with a modest tailwind and equally modest pace along the dirt roads of the Colorado River. We briefly had the opportunity to take in some of the absolutely stunning red rock scenery lining the river before racing began in earnest. The pace began to pick up as we headed for the first climbs. Rob suffered an unfortunate puncture along one of the sketchier sections of dirt road, and after a wheel swap, spent the day in a tough time trial chase of the pack with a Mix1 rider. As the pack hit the first big dirt climb, the pace rose and any climbing out of the saddle risked a bit of wheel slip. We made the first turnaround whittled down to about 7 riders - the climb took its toll. The dirt descent was fast and fun - Len, I also topped out at 46mph - bumpy with a bit of powerslide through some of the turns to keep things interesting. The pace stayed high over the next climb and turnaround, but it was the long rollers and steady headwinds on the way back that would define the day. The pace ranged from pedestrian to attacks constantly with no one interested in keeping the pace up and everyone immediately pouncing on the attacks. The right combo of riders would never form to make anything stick. The pack grew back up to the mid-20s due to the indecisive racing, and the attacks and counters continued from each of the big teams almost on cue Mix1, Rio Grande, Scion, P2P Westside, Vic's, Repeat. Rolling into the last 2 miles, the winds were still strong and the road narrow enough to risk getting boxed in at the wrong moment. After getting boxed in briefly, I moved near the front, and in the surgy nervous racing a rider ran into by back wheel. Unfortunate for him and he went down, but fortunately for me, he just hit my tire, and a P2P Westside rider immediately attacked in the confusion. The finish would have been an ideal one for Mike S, but he was slowed by the crash. A few of us followed the attack and we decided to drive the advantage with an all out effort and a few quick rotations through a short paceline. With the rest of the pack chasing, there was no time for cat and mouse games. I found myself at the front with the final short uphill headwind climb to the finish and had to open up the sprint. It was a good effort but I was caught at the line by Byron Nix and Matt Gates and rounded out the top 3. Exciting day overall, but next year we'll have to match the supreme excellence of the 55'ers! - Ken O.

1 comment:

Barry Messmer said...

Well done yougsters! Good to see your keeping up the the older men.