Monday, March 21, 2011

Blythewood Omnium

The Blythewood Omnium was a three stage Omnium just north of Columbia, South Carolina. The stages were a 4k prologue, a 60 minute crit, and a 36 mile circuit race. The prologue was a very fun course. It went downhill to a hard 90 degree left, down a long rolling straight to a 180 to a right, left, right, left, right sequence of turns to an uphill drag of about 500 meters to the line. It was very short so I went all out from the gun pushing hard the whole time. I didn't fly through the turns but I didn't take them easy either. By the time I got to the sequence of turns at the end I was very tired but pushed the whole way home. I was pretty satisfied with my effort and I should have been because I won. My Boyd Bow and Aero was super fast and I was super happy to win the first race I did with my teammates. My teammate Boyd Johnson got second, my teammate Thad Dulin was 4th, and my teammate Kyle Knott was ninth. We did very well.
Going into the crit we planned to get me into a break that I could win out of. The race started out very aggressive. After about ten minutes a break formed with Thomas Brown and Ben Zawacki (Mountain Khakis), an Aerocat rider, a Hincapie rider, and Noah Metzler and myself from Team Globalbike. The break worked very well for most of the race. With about 7 laps to go I started attacking my brains out to try to get away solo for the win. Noah was also attacking a lot, but then we started coming up on the field and lapped them. My teammates Boyd Johnson and Trey Miller were perfectly positioned at the back to bring Noah and me to the front. Then with 3 laps to go I decided to go straight at turn 1 and crashed. This is possibly one of the dumbest things I have ever done and I am sorry to anyone else I may have crashed. I got up and finished sixth. Noah got third. My team rode very awesome today and I am very sorry for what I did at the end of the race.
The next day was the circuit race that was 13 laps on a 5 k circuit with a 500 meter climb every lap. The race started off fast and aggressive. A break of ten went off early. Mountain Khakis had 3 riders in the break, Hincapie had 2 riders, and Kyle Knott from our team made the break. I tried to go with it but I just couldn't. With 6 or 7 laps to go Boyd, Trey, and Thad started bringing the break back. They got the break back with 3 or 4 laps to go but 1 Mountain Khakis and 1 Hincapie rider were still off the front. The last 3 times up the climb I felt great and was attacking over the top. The second time I attacked I got a gap with 1 Mountain Khakis and 1 Hincapie rider on my wheel. They wouldn't work because they had teammates off the front and the group reeled us in just before the last ascent of the climb. Mountain Khakis attacked at the bottom and I was right on them and I jetted by them. At the top I was at my limit and the pack was on my wheel. I decided my best bet was just roll the last 400 meter to the line as hard as I could and hold on. I got passed by riders and ended the race in ninth. Thomas Brown (Mountain Khakis) who won the crit the day before ended up beating me in the omnium by one point. I am really sorry to my teammates who slaughtered themselves for me that I did not win. They worked super hard for me and I wish I could have gotten a win for them. Thanks to them again for all the work they did for me. Next up is Dothan Cityfest in Alabama in two weeks. It is a very fun crit.

Webster Roubaix

Webster Roubaix was a 100 mile road race in Webster, Florida. It is 12 laps on a 9 mile course that has 2.5 miles of dirt every lap. It is probably the toughest race of the year in Florida. My plan for the day was eat, conserve energy, and wait for the last few laps to attack. Shawn Coleman and a Floridavelo rider got away near the end of the first lap. I was a little worried because Shawn Coleman is very strong and thought maybe he might stay away to the end of the race. They got a gap of 2 minutes and it stayed that way for a while. Many riders in the field were anxious and attacking again and again. I covered moves but never really tried anything myself. The race was tough and long. By the halfway point I was feeling tired and Shawn and the Floridavelo rider's gap was coming down. With five laps to go I decided to go fast onto the dirt section and make myself crash. I just jumped back up and got on the back of the field and adjusted my brake on the fly. At this point the Floridavelo rider abandonned the race from cramps and Shawn was soldiering on by himself. Shawn was just dangling off the front and another Floridavelo rider jumped to him. By this point I was getting cramps on and off and it was very tough. We finally caught Shawn just after three laps to go and the attacks began again. Near the end of this lap I was in a group of 5 or 6 that had just got caught and I jumped again. I was dead but just decided to go. I got a 1 minute gap pretty quick and thought I was definitely going to hold on for the win. Shortly after that thought cramps started coming back again and again at random. Over the last lap I was dead but just kept soldiering on. I was praying to God the whole time to just keep me going long enough to hold on for the win. I had cramps and was getting dizzy. I really wanted to stop but I wanted to win even more. Going onto the dirt with about 1 k to go I had a 20'' gap and thought I would win. I pushed with everything I had and held on to the line with a 5'' gap over Derek Bennett. This race is the hardest I have ever pushed myself and it felt really great to win. Thanks to God for giving me the strength on that last lap.

ORC Race Weekend Circuit Race

The ORC Race weekend circuit race was a 75' race on a 2 mile open course with a 200 meter rise with a false flat over the top. Last year a break went from the gun and stayed away the whole race, so I was attentive to see if that would happen again. From the gun the race was aggressive but no attacks really seemed to get away. After about 30' of racing it seemed that the race was tough enough for a break to go. Andy Crater, Scott Zwizanski (United Healthcare), and I got away at this point. Scott was pulling very hard and Andy and I were just trying to hang on. I was sure this was the move. But after a couple laps we got caught by the field. At this point I realized a break probably wouldn't stick and just sat in the group for the rest of the race. Scott Zwisanski tried another attack with two to go only to be brought back a lap later. I wasn't really positioned well on the last lap but took ninth in the sprint. I probably should have positioned myself better and maybe I could have gotten a top 5.

Dade City Crit

The Dade City Criterium was the day after the San Antonio Road Race. It is a fun 6 turn course with a brick section between turns 1 and 2. I felt good after my 51 mile breakaway the day before with Derek Bennett and wanted to try to win. The race was very aggressive from the gun but it just never seemed like a break would work. Finally after about 30' of racing a group of 13 formed that took a lap on the field. This group contained Phil Gaimon (Kenda), David Guttenplan (Chemstar), Ken Vida (Floridavelo), Joey Roskopf and Ty Magner (Team Type 1), myself and some other riders. The group more or less just worked together until we lapped the field with a few laps to go. There was never really a good oppertunity to attack. With three laps to go Phil launched an attack and everyone was on him like glue. With 2 to go I decided to go for it and killed myself but didn't really get a gap. I held on for seventh place. Maybe I should have waited a lap later and I would have gotten a better result. But it was a good first weekend of racing for the year.

San Antonio Road Race

The San Antonio Road Race was my first race of the 2011 season. I was very excited for it as I would see the results of my winter training there. It was 4 laps of a 17 mile rolling circuit. In the first couple miles of the race Andy Crater got away with Sean Coleman. There were some other attacks later in the lap that bridged up to the duo. Near the end of the lap the pace got high and I bridged up to the lead group. This group had about ten or twelve riders in it, including Joey Roskopf and Dan Holt from Team Type 1, 3 riders from Floridavelo, John Durango and Alejandro Bello from Santo, and David Guttenplan and Shane Braley from Chemstar. The work was uneven in the group and it was apparent that some people were tired. At the start of the second lap Derek Bennett (Floridavelo) and I got a gap. I just said to him let's not kill ourselves because we have 51 miles still to race. Over the next two laps our gap stayed at about 1'. Derek was doing awesome and I did not feel so great so I wasn't pulling as much as him. On the last lap I got a Coca Cola and I felt great. Our gap was still at 1' with Team Type 1 Chasing. I pulled hard this lap and was sure we would not get caught. Then with about 5 miles to go I see a Team Type 1 rider blazing up to us. It was Ty Magner, probably the best sprinter in the race. After that I wasn't really sure what to do. With 1 k to go I gave Ty and Derek a gap and surged into the last hill. I looked back and Ty was immediately on my wheel but I dropped Derek. I just held a fast pace to the line knowing that Ty would come around me and I held on for second. Not so bad for the first race of the year.