Sunday, June 12, 2005

The Many Hills of Afton

Today was the Afton Mt bike race.Its nice to drive only 45 min to a race instead of 3.5 hours.Everyone was there except for Jeff and Doug who are hammering out the roads in the NVGP.Doug did exceptionally well yesterday.I would recommend reading his blog to see how well he did.He was pro stuff,man!Anyway the weather was very good today. The humidity was alot less than the previous race and I was taking in enough fluids to keep my senses.Off the start I had a little flub,I couldn't find my stupid pedal quick enough.After I found it I hammered behind Sam and Dr Bob in the top about 15th or so.I think they sent us up shady lane a little earlier than last year which was fine with me, to get it over with.At the top of shady lane Sam went for the more technical but shorter route while I opted for the little easier path and ended up passing him up.From there I just kept motoring and rode conservitive and ended up putting a gap on Sam.I kept my eye on Jay Richards,Chris Fisher,and Tim Norrie up about 15 seconds.While Sam was back a bit and Jan Rybar had was closing in.On the second lap going up shady lane Chris looked back and saw me, so he signaled me to close the gap.But I was going as fast as I wanted to,and that was the mistake of the race.I should have went for it and took my chances. So I kept my pace while Chris droped the group.I caught Tim and slowly he dropped back by the third lap.On the last lap the hills were taking there toll and my legs were burning pretty good on the hard long climbs.I actually took a little digger on a tight downhill corner were my front tire slid into a rut and over the bars I went.It was just one of those oh,crap! moments then just pick up and go.I had Jay in my sights for a long time but he was able to hold me off to the finish.This was kind of a weird race because I was all alone for like the whole thing, usually people would stick on your wheel and work together to bridge gaps. I need to work on that,I usually need someone to push me over the platue and keep me going.I can tell my mental toughness needs work this year.
Other mentionable moments is Sam got a flat on lap 2,Dr Bob had a horrible race and faded bad-sorry to see that man.Paul Hanson broke a chain and dnf'd.
All in all I felt pretty good and I could motor nicely up all the hills.This is one of the tougher courses in MN with ALOT of climbing.So I'm glad I didn't crack on the last lap like last year.Time-2:01, 11min back from leaders,place-10th in age,11th overall.
P.S.I just looked at my time from last year and they deffinately shortened the course this year.Dougs time was 2:02 last year and mine was 2:18.I thought the laps felt shorter.On the web site they said it was 23 miles total though.


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