Saturday, April 23, 2011

First W

I went out to the Mitchell Memorial Road Race today over near Cincinnati. The day started early (a little too early) with a departure time of 5:30. It poured the entire trip but luckily stopped in time for the race to get under way. The race was 50 miles and not a ton of people showed up but there were still some good riders present. The race finished up a pretty decent climb so I like my chances immediately.

Once we were under way I put in some of my patented early attacks, but per usual, to no avail. We then got around to a pretty long descent and I took it easy as I had never been down it before and the roads were disgusting with debris and water. Two people actually got a gap on the descent (Brad Schaeffer-NUVO and Isaiah Newkirk). I rode on the front trying to keep the gap manageable until we got to the climb figuring it would all come back together. Once we hit the Climb Tyler Karnes (Hincapie Development Team) went and dragged me away from the group. As soon as he let up I went and bridged to the leaders solo. I had them by the top of the climb. We then traded pulls pretty evenly with Brad taking shorter pulls. I wasn't sure if he was trying to conserve or was hurting. The next time up the climb Isaiah went and Brad didn't follow. I went around Brad and it was just Isaiah and myself for the last 4 laps. We had a pretty sizable advantage and worked well together.

I began scouting the course for where I would make my move. There was a pretty steep little hill about a mile before the last climb and I decided to hit Isaiah hard right at the top, liking my chances if I could get a gap and turn it into an ITT, him versus me. I think this is the first time a plan of mine has actually worked. I went over the climb with a few seconds and ripped it on the wide open smooth pavement leading to the last climb. I felt great and knew after a glance under my arm that I had it. I hit the base of the climb and soloed to the victory. It was not the biggest race, but nonetheless it was nice to get a victory, It was my first (of hopefully many) for Panther p/b Competitive Cyclist. Now to continue to work hard and accomplish the goals I have set for myself this season.

Pics courtesy of Jeffrey Jakucyk

This coming weekend the whole team is getting together for a couple races, including the Cone Azalia Spring Classic which is a dirt/gravel road race near Ann Arbor in Michigan. I am looking forward to meeting the entire team and hanging out for a weekend of bike racing!

Monday, April 4, 2011

First Weekend in the books

Saturday was my first race of the year, Hillsboro Roubaix. This race is always big with 100+ riders. It was my first race with Panther p/b Competitive Cyclist. I met up with guys (for the first time) and we hit the line. The attacks went from the gun and usually the first break does not go. This was not the case as the early move looked dangerous. I tried to get across to it and was chased down. After a couple more attempts both Greg and Ryan A. got into the move and it was gone. I spent the rest of the race trying to cover chase attempts and stay on the right side of the split. We came into the last lap and there were only about 20 of us in the lead group. I was pretty tired and just wanted to roll in when somebody decided to t-bone me in the second to last corner with 1/2 mile left. This sent my wheel into my frame as he hit me so hard as to knock the the wheel out of the dropout. I believe the frame is ok but the force of the impact and wheel hitting my frame took off the paint down to the carbon on both chain stays. I will be really upset if this stupid incident did more than cosmetic damage to my sweet new Canyon bike. It was not the best way to end a successful day but that is bike racing, I guess.
Back to the racing! With both Ryan and Greg in the break I liked our chances. Ryan ended up second with Greg third. Not a bad start to the season, not to mention that is was our first time racing together! I know the results will continue to rock as we get more familiar with each other and how we all race.

On Sunday I ventured to Ohio to do Hueston Woods with Ryan A. and Andy Clarke. The field was fairly small so we wanted to get one of us into the winning move, and when satisfied with it, shut down the field. Andy and myself tried a few times to get off of the front but once again it was Ryan getting into the break with a guy from XXX racing and someone from RGF. Ryan put in plenty of breakaway miles this weekend. Once the break was safely away I decided it was time to whittle down the field and started attacking and slowly but surely got it down to myself and 3 other guys. I was with Tyler from the Hincapie Development team and two guys who refused to work and just sat on. After all the work I ended up 6th on the day. Nothing too great but I will take it for the first races of the season. Ryan took 2nd again, so it was another good day for the team.

Pics courtesy of Jeffrey Jakucyk
I cannot wait to get into the thick of the season with the team. I am confident we are going to do some big things this year and I am glad to be a part of this team.