Two weekends ago I met up with Chad and Rob and did a local criterium around the Major Taylor Velodrome here in Indianapolis. It was a good size field of around 70 riders taking to the start just as the morning rain had stopped. After a few attacks Chad finally got off the front with a strong group of 5 other riders. After marking some attacks I got off the front with a group that had been whittled down to just myself and one other rider. We just so happened to catch the leaders with 4 laps to go. I looked to set up Chad in the sprint, but after some miscommunication we let victory slip out of our hands and had to settle for a disappointing second.
Two days ago Chad and I met up with Chad Hartley and James Stemper at the Hillsboro Roubaix. It's a pretty big local race with rolling roads and about 1.5km's of brick roads 500 meters before the finish.
There were plenty of teams there with full squads that made up the 125 rider field. The hardest and most stressful part of the race was the first half as the 125 riders were forced to stay to the right of the imaginary yellow ride on the narrow back roads of southern Illinois. It was close to impossible to move up with the field rolling around like it was a charity ride. Most riders probably went through a pair of break pads.
Finally we got things going with some attacking on the second lap, but it wasn't till the third and finally lap that things got heated up. With constant attacks from Texas Roadhouse and Panthers it was full on. We had the misfortune of having one rider not able to continue on the last lap, and another feeling bad, so basically we were done to two. Hartley rode strong with constant attacking and I threw in few and covered a few dangerous moves. Unfortunetly nothing was getting away, even the moves with one from each team. The race was coming down to a field sprint. Coming through the brick streets in Hillsboro under a 1km to go I had a mechanical mishap and had to sit up and watch the race roll away. I was in a good position next to the Panther train that would take the win. Hartley did what he could on his own to finish up 7th after being tired from all his earlier efforts. Once again another disappointing finish.
So now it is time to put that all behind me and move on to one of the bigger races of the year for myself and my team. Ever since last year at the Tour of the Battenkill I've been looking forward to going back and going nothing less then winning. Ever since getting back from Taiwan I have had some awesome training days. Hopefully it all pays off.
A week and half after Battenkill comes Tour of Gila, and four days after that is Joe Martin. So there are of lot of big races to tackle.
Other then that who doesn't love this weather we have been having. For all those bad days in January and February, the last couple of weeks of March and the beginning of April have been brilliant. Temperatures between 65-80 for most days with lots of sunshine. Training sure is more enjoyable with the sun shinning.