CRIT IN RHODE ISLAND
The Rite Aid team packed up the van in PA and headed to Rochester Friday afternoon. Once we arrived in Rochester we had just enough time to unpack our things, bring them to our room and get down to the official sponsors dinner in the giant canvas tent. After a few encouraging words, some thank yous and remembering a few fellow cyclist who have been involved in tragedies it was time to eat. Dinner was good and even better then dinner was the dinner company of Ryan Dewald. He always has a few rippen good yarns and makes a good observation or two such as how he wouldn't mind getting a house made out of canvas. Then some of the directors talked, which included Bill trying to get Beaman to sing, which could have made some good entertainment and something exciting to blog about, but it didn't happen. This was all followed by some sponsors talking and people experiences of the race, blah, blah, blah, and then bed.
We went for a cruise in the morning on the local bike path that was very hard to following because of the many turn offs and directions to head. Of course we ended up the anal trail, guess who picked that one out? We rode that for a while then we ended up cruising around trying to find some biscuits. Guess who's idea that was? We ended up riding into town a bit and things started to get a bit exotic and all but one of us turned around and headed back to the hotel to rest up for the race. Guess who stayed behind a bit? Hint: Answer to all three are the same.
After a long afternoon of relaxing and trying to kill time before the 8:30 start we were finally in the holding pen getting ready to start while they called up anyone with a result. They had a little ramp that the riders who got called up could roll over like you sometimes see at time trials and I'd like to point out how Bobby Lea was the only one who didn't do it. While we finally got started and to my surprise it didn't seem to terribly fast from the get go, but soon enough riders got going and the attacks started. We were doing a good job covering things, first with Dewald, then Bill, and then myself all in the first 10 minutes of the 120 minute race.
After covering a few moves I drifted back a bit and another went and of course don't you know its the one that sticks and the one we have nobody in. I tried following some riders attempting to bridge and go at it myself, but never got it. Guido tried to bridge, but once that break had gone everyone was covering every move going and the bigger teams were all represented so they didn't want to bring it back. Bill and myself tried to make some big efforts to get the field closer, but we were to disorganized and by the time our whole team got organized it was a bit to late and we could never close the gap. Up the rode was Clark and Wamsley from Navigators, Walters and Rollin from Kodak, Jones for Nerac, and a symmatics guy, so it was a pretty stacked break. Coincidently all those riders were called to the line.
Anyways they were gone in the first 15 minutes of the race and we chased for an hour with a little help, but not much and with little success that group was able to come around. We hesitated to much at the beginning and that was all they needed to get the better of us. Nothing to exciting happened the rest of the race as we just went around and had a sprint finish with 2 laps to go for the field which was chaos and on top of that the camera wasn't working so they have no idea how anyone did. Nice.
I've never done a twilight criterium before and it was a blast, other then the fact we didn't do well. It is a sweet experience. You just have to get use to all the shadows that makes it feel like riders are coming around you every second. In the beginning I was throwing out elbows to shadows. Also you never want to look directly into the crowd because there is a good chance you could be blinded by a flash.
So we got cleaned up after the race and went to the local BBQ place dinner which was excellent. We ended getting to bed around 2am and that was without staying out and partying. So it was a late night, which made for a long day on Sunday.
We headed out of Rochester around 10am and headed to Rhode Island for a race at 6pm. So after getting lunch, gas, and making it through a traffic jam we finally arrived at 5:15 which was just enough time to get ready and hall over to the start line.
The race started off aggressive, so aggressive that I remember looking up and seeing Geronimo covering an attack and I wasn't even clipped in yet. I'm sure that felt extra good after being in the van for 7 hours. We definitely didn't want to miss any moves today and that was apparent by everyone of us riding at the front and covering moves including Alejandro. I got into a break for two or so laps with a few Nerac riders and Sakkonet riders, but didnt want to work just because I was out numbered and figured we could maybe get a better shuffle. We got caught and more attacks went, which ended up splitting the field with a group of 10-15 riders going clear. Luckily Alejandro was up there, but I didn't think that was good enough. Everyone was covering moves trying to go across, and I tried attacking to get across, but I was told not to do that because we wanted them to lap. I know it was Alejandro up there and he could win out of 50 by himself, but I thought maybe we could have better odds then that.
Well anyways I think the group up front was to big and must not have been working great together because there gap would hover between 35-60 seconds. Never getting that really big gap to lap on the 1 mile course. Wouldn't you know that in the final 10 laps it was dropping below 20 seconds and they were once again in site. Alejandro had flown the coupe with Jones from Nerac before we caught the group which once again was good for us. I was working my way to the very front again with less then 5 laps to go and there was a crash in front of me. Crap. Back to around 50th. So I tried again to get up to Geronimo and Guido who were right up front and with two laps to go but there was another crash. Blast. Finally on the last lap I rode out in the wind along side everyone trying to get as close to front as possible and back in the money which I did, but I wasn't able to help out Geronimo with the sprint. Alejandro did his thing and won just in front of the field and Geronimo manged 6th. So two in the top 10 with the victory, thats a pretty good day.
To finish off a splendid weekend of driving we piled back into the van and made the 6hr drive back to PA and finally made it to bed around 4am. Talk about being wrecked the following day. I woke up around noon and Geronimo got up a little after 2 in the afternoon. Even getting up that late the only thing I really felt like doing all day was napping. I'm trying to take a nap right now, but I wanted to throw up a quick update, which so far hasn't worked to my advantage. Man its rough being a bike racer. Hopefully your not trying to read this before you doing something else because I'm sure its taking to long to read. So I'll end it.
Thanks for reading