12 total days, 8 days of racing, 1,600 miles of driving, and 700 miles of racing and the Arkansas swing is over. It only took me 1 1/4 stage races to feel like I was ready to race and like I had the fitness I was hoping to have when I started.
The last two days of Arkansas went pretty much as planned, but unfortunately that came without the win, but we showed signs of getting closer. Hopefully all the race entry blogs don't turn into just getting close. Ok from here on out no more about getting close because if your not on the podium, it's basically just a lost.
Anyways the stage up to Mt. Magazine, the highest point in Arkansas, was a fairly typical stage race stage. The early break went and the team with the lead took to the front for the next 120km or so. I sat comfortably behind the big boys of Clayton and Robbie and enjoyed my free ride to the finishing climb. I attacked towards the bottom of the climb with 12km to go, built up a gap of 45 seconds, but then I hit the rollers and wind towards the top and the Type 1 driven group of 9 caught me with just over 5km to go. Finally though I went out and gave myself and the team who put the work in for myself a chance of really winning, even though I felt short. Who knows what will happen next time.
The following day was the crit on a very rough, narrow and tight course. Though it felt rather safer as the break went in the first few laps and Type 1 again took to the front. Everything was lined out for pretty much the entire race as the break closely approached lapping the field. Clayton went to front and helped Type 1 pick the pace up just as the break was within 15 seconds of lapping. They held them off from lapping and before I knew it the race was over.
I finished 7th overall, and the team had a top 10 finish in every stage. To bad they only payed top 3 in every stage.
Next up for the team is Tour of Leelanau, but for myself I think I will take part in what is a hometown race, Tour of Frankenmuth.
Time to wake up the boys, as the sun is coming up and the birds are chirping, so we can go ride. I'm sure the guys won't mind getting up at 8.