Well, I took 9th. Not a great result, but not too shabby either. I was super-strong, I mean stupid strong, the legs feeling weightless… I was ready to go. The conditions were very hot, something I absolutely abhor, stifling, and this is my only complaint: on the final lap, when the crap really started to go down, I could feel the heat starting to sap me…
Race started off ridiculously slow, perhaps trying to ease slowly into the 95 miles! A Van Dessel, Colavita, Ideal Tile, and Heart House rider each went off the front casually and ambled out of site. We rode at a pedestrian pace of 17-18 mph. Of course, very quickly the 3s caught us. We passed them, they caught us… The 3 field ended up in front of us, and we were neutralized.
I was itchin’ to go. Aspholm had put in a few stinging attacks, I mean full-on Death Mode for the peloton to chase. When I saw Jason Walters from Ideal Tile bridge each time, I was in his wake. But having the three of us in the break doomed the move as the field was all over us… But I felt really good as I bridged each time, the legs absolutely electric…
Midway into the race, the pace was ballistic up the “hilly” section on the backside, and the leaders would’ve roared past the 3s, but the officials kept us behind the truck. 🙁 So for two or so laps, we were stuck.
After the 3s finished, it was Game On. I put in a stinging attack after the feed zone, as the field was starting to break up. Roger was with me but so was Steve Dioslaki from Tile, and he wouldn’t pull through. After a few minutes of this, I sat up and the field roared up to us. Northeastern Hardware kept the pace pretty high for the final lap, and the peloton was blown to pieces going through that hilly section on the backstretch. Shattered riders all over the road. I felt really good, on the wrong half of that split on the first hill, but was able to bridge solo on the second hill, and this is where the heat hit me!!! THAT DANG HEAT!!!
We were about 15-strong going through the fast rollers, and I was hurting. The pace slowed, and yup, up rolled the rest of the peloton. I was a little disappointed as I knew in about 15 minutes we’d have a massive field sprint at 85 mph — I had been anticipating being in a 60+ mile break with Roger!!! And here I was, going into a sprint with gargantuan fast-twitch-blessed field sprinters. 🙁
I was able to stay near the front, guys brushing shoulders and such. I moved up on the outside, then jumped when the leaders jumped. The sprint was mainly on the left side of the road and I gunned it up the right. We were all even with about 50m to go, and I thought for a nanosecond, Push it you can win this race!!!! And THEN THE POWERHOUSES CAME BY ME!!! I gave it everything and threw the bike at the line, good enough for 9th.
Our team, Northeastern Hardware, took the team classification victory with 3rd, 5th, and 9th. Heart House’s Ryan Pettit took the win — great job, man! This race was a huge goal for me, and I think if we weren’t neutralized by the 3s the race would’ve played out much better. I was in full-on peak mode for this race, and even though I didn’t get top-3, I’m happy that the legs felt fantastic, I’m relieved to have survived my arch-enemy THE HEAT, and I’m proud I was able to finish top-10 against the powerful sprinters.
Not bad for a time trialist!!! A pure easy week, then we start back early in July, getting ready to help the team in the difficult summer criterium season. I am 2nd in the TT Cup and 2nd in the Garden State Cup. O’Donnell is just faster so I’m happy with 2nd in the TTs, but in the GSC I am going to focus more on the road bike and see if I can close the gap to Jason Walters (great ride today, finished 2nd), who is still well within striking distance.
Great race today, guys. Thanks for reading.