Sunday, July 18, 2010

Delta, Weekend, Cascade

That's how July ends.

Delta was fast. Ben snagged the prologue win over Svein Tuft by a fraction of a second and made everyone sit up and pay attention to the reason the Kiwis call him "Quadzilla"! My own time was 10s slower, which would have been 23rd - but for my dumb-ass letting myself get flustered and missing my start time by a couple of seconds to be given a 20s penalty. Not that it was going to matter as GC wasn't my job, but still - total Cat 5 move. Next start time is getting sharpied onto my hand, my top tube, my helmet, and maybe my water bottles.

The crit averaged 30.5mph which is 3mph faster than any other race I've done, and while I wasn't physically in trouble I was simply stuck in the field. No moving. Fitness was not the issue, but skill - how to move through a field that is screaming down the straights at 32-33mph consistently and raging through tight corners. Hats off to the boys in yellow who took cash and contested all night. Not much help was I.

The road race, 140k of it, was different. We did 4 laps of a circuit in North Delta then did a longish windy transfer over to 10 laps of an 8k finishing circuit in Tsawwassen. Quinn attacked at the flag drop, and I followed the next move that bridged up to his little group and thus Rubicon had 2 men in the main move of the day, which was 10 total. Quinn sat on for the most part and I just rolled through, keeping it going and letting Quinn rest his legs for the pain that was to come later. My chain began to fall apart with 3-4 laps to go though so I had to pull over in the feed zone and go find a chain tool in the team trailer (took my chain apart with no tool - three of four corners where the pins pressed in to one link were cracked and gone), and ended up riding in alone one lap down, while Quinn did his job and broke up the break so that it would get caught and the three sprinters we had in the field could take their shot at the line. However, Zac Bell rolled out of our break and hung on to win by a couple of seconds, but we still put Ben in 5th on GC and all in all had a good day. I had awesome legs and did a good ride, which was redemption for sucking in the other two events. Motoring is what I do, and it's good to be able to put that skill to use for a specific job to help a great team do their jobs - which is to make us all look good, raise awareness for LiveSTRONG, and get kissed by the pretty ladies who think we are fast.

So now, with 19hrs stacked into the early part of this week, I'm hoping the legs come around again since Tuesday evening will mark the start of my first-ever NRC race, and what a start it is: The Cascade Cycling Classic, which pretty much looks like the most brutal race I would ever dream of starting. Cruise on over to the CCC website and take a look at that stage information - it's ugly. Only the crit shows any flat ground. Suffering is the name of the game, and when the Pro's are throwing down I'm going to be waiting for the calls of "gruppetto!" after I do my job and bring bottles to our GC guys in the 95F heat for as long as I can. I just hope this race is civil.

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