Saturday, August 26, 2006

Masters Worlds Road Race

First of all thanks to EVERYONE who sent encouraging this point I am just trying to move on and concentrate on the future. Although little reminders about the theft (like the Austrian Police report I got last night) keep cropping up. road race. A little anti climactic after the TT....mentally anyway. We had almost 180 riders in my category from all over the world! Pretty cool. I got there early and had a decent start position. I wanted to be able to get near the front without working too hard for the first climb. We went out hard and the legs felt good. Weather was and mostly sunny. The first half lap was chaotic as expected. It lined out on the first climb and stayed pretty fast. My goal was to wait...then try to cover moves on the second lap. After the 2nd climb on the course, things seemed ready to go , so I started covering attacks...I know, a little early, but it felt right. I would get in a group of 3 or 4, then we would get hauled back, then the italians would counter...I would recover and go a gain. This happened a few times taking us over to the TT course area with more open roads. Finally after a move I was in came back, I was spent and watched yet another italian counter.....and that move stuck. Just lauck really as to which one got off....too bad it was not one with me. The move hung at 10-15 seconds for a while, then went out. At this point we needed to sit, hope it comes back, then go with the counter....or if it doesn't come back, try to get a split or chase on the last lap.

We had 4 americans in the race and we had a loose least it was my idea to either get in a move, or help chase or keep things together in the finale for the faster sprinters. Belive me I had NO ointention of getting mixed up in a 180 rider bunch sprint on narrow roads with these guys. So as plan waqs all (top10?) or nothing for me.

The 2nd lap was pretty uneventful...the speed was moderately fast, but the break of 6 (?) got out to about 2 minutes. On the first climb on the 3rd and final lap I started to dig. I went hard on the climb....a little later I countered another american who had been up the road a bit...but the well organized italians were keeping everything in check. With about 12 miles to go it was time to get to work. Nothing was getting clear, so I figured I could use my energy to try to help the other guys. I went to the front and just gave it everything I had for almost 5 miles. One other rider helped...I have no idea where he was from, but he was strong. I came off the front just as we turned on to narrow roads about 6 miles to go. I was shuffled pretty far back in the group, but wanted to get to the front again....It took a while, but I did get one more good did about 5km out. I hit the front at 30...held it for a bit, then as my speed started dropping I pulled over for least no more at the front. At 3k to go things got really dicey. Pushing and shoving to get in position for the sprint. A couple of turns on hte run-in were just insane....guys riding off the road.....but it was easy to hang on. I came across nice and safe, in 84th place.

A geat experience to be sure and a very exciting race. I'll chalk it up to a learning experience this year.....great course, strong field.....and I felt like I was able to at least make a little bit of impact on the race.....but I know for sure I did not have the ability to win...even if I had made the move (which we brought back to 23 seconds)......ok, out for now


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