I had my first official team race with the team this past weekend at the Tour of the Battenkill in upstate New York. When the team asked my opinion on doing the race all I could say is that you won't do any other race like this all year. And because of that 8 of us made the trip to almost the middle of nowhere to race on dirt, gravel and hills. Fortunately enough the weather for this time of year was very seasonable and temps were in the upper 60's to lower 70's for much of the weekend.
Here is a pic of someone the new guys as we were heading of a pre race spin.
The few weeks leading up to the race I was debating on whether or not to participate in the Pro/Am the day before the UCI race. Normally I would never hesitate at this, but with other members on the team thinking it was to much and watching the pre reg list not add up I was thinking maybe I should skip it as well. My training wasn't as good as normal coming off the broken collar bone and I hadn't raced but 1 day so I thought maybe I should save everything for Sunday's 200km race. Then in the last day of registration I decided I needed the racing more then I didn't. I would also have a solid 24hrs of recovery.
So I lined up in the wee hours of Saturday morning for the 60 man Pro/Am race that would race practically the same roads we would the following day. I help back a lot as I knew I had the big race the following day. I made sure to stay near the front in what I thought were crucial moments. I thought I would make 1 good effort on one of the biggest hills leading into a long dirt roller section. I made the move and was off the front with 6 chasing an earlier break of 4. When all the dust had settled 1 rider stayed away and I came to the line with 1 other and finished 3rd. I was rather pleased and now a bit more excited for the bigger race the following day.
Here's the Pro/Am Podium. It was very exciting to get a jug of chocolate milk to help in the recovery process. Madelyn would have loved to be on this podium and share that big ole jug of chocolate milk.
Here is me and American cycling legend Greg Lemond. When I told him I was also racing on Sunday he even thought I was nuts! I took that as a compliment.
24hrs later I was back on the start line but this time with 160 riders and staring down the barrel of a 200km bike race. The race was fast from the get go and as expected even faster on the dirt sections. The last 40km of the lap is brutal with the number dirt roads and climbs. I told the guys if you are going to be up front at all make sure it is at this point. As expected things heated up for those 40km's and the field was shattered and 50 guys would come around for the 2nd together.
Well except for this one guys who found himself off the front waiting for a group to come across.
An awesome group of 6 came across, but it was missing a Kelly Optimun guy so they chased and countered and that was the race. I would finish in the second group, but I made my move and it just didn't work out.
Here I am coming back from 1 of 2 flats. I've done this race 4 times and I've flatted twice in 2 of them, 1 in another, and none in the one from the previous day (where I finished on podium, hmm)
So I got a good amount of racing like I wanted, and even sneaked away with a result. Sure I would have liked one in both or maybe even more in the UCI race, but it just didn't pan out that way. There will be plenty of more chances this year.
Now I'm just sitting at my chair waiting for some parts that got overnighted to me, as on Wednesday I had a bit of an accident. Here's a pic. More on this later.