Looking back on our little road trip to Quad Cities to race I really have mixed feelings. I'm a bit bummed at the results but still glad I went. This was really the first race weekend that I've done this year and it's good to see where you stand with the competition. Unfortunately it really proved that I've got some work to do after all of the illness that I've had this year. Now my partner in crime this weekend Shadd had a great weekend, 3rd in the 30+ race at Snake Alley and 21st in the Pro-1,2 race at Muskatine.
I guess I should backtrack a bit, here's how the weekend went down........
Shadd and I decide to go to the races Friday night and set up our departure time sometime around 10pm. Hmmmm.....time to pack it up for a 6am departure the next morning. With a 5 hour drive time that gets us there in time for the 30+ race. Not really the race either of us want to do but leaving earlier doesn't work and it doesn't make sense to start over a 100 guys back in the Pro 1,2 race. So we start the 30+ race and we are both up front the first time up the Snake. On the 2nd lap up my shifter won't drop the chain until the 2nd switchback and then it pops off the chain ring. Not only is it off the chain ring but it's wrapped around the rear der and I have to take the back wheel off just to get it unwrapped. Got it going and figured I'd just ride for training until I got lapped. Dummy me, I rode hard enough that I didn't get lapped until I sat up and waited for the leaders on the last lap, I just didn't feel like going up the Snake again. Frustrating race, another race ruined by a mechanical. In the end Shadd was 3rd and I ended up with 14th. Too bad I was off grumping around after the race, I hear Shadd did a podium interview that's going to be talked about for years.
Next up, the Melon City Crit in Muskatine, IA. This is a fun race course with the infamous speed bump at the bottom the the downhill. In the past the bump was relatively flat and not a big deal but this year everybody agreed that it was a little bit taller than in the past. Not a big deal but at 40 mph I know my wheels were off the ground every lap. After my stellar performance on the Snake and the 89 degree weather I decided to race 2 masters races instead of the Pro 1-2 race. Bottom line is that I figured I would be better off racing where I would be competitive and it would only cost me 5 bucks more to do 2 races. Shadd was going to do the Pro 1-2 race and due to the heat we figured they were going to do hand ups so I needed to help him out as well.
So in the 50+ race I attacked a bunch but could never get away. There were 2 teammates that were working to get their big guy away, he couldn't climb but he could sure time trial. I would jump up to him but his teammate didn't want me there so he would bring the whole field up to us. Eventually I didn't cover one of his moves and that was it, he was away for the win. Then I managed to put myself in a bad position the last time up the hill and ended up 6th in the sprint.
The 30+ race was a whole different game. The race started out slow and I couldn't figure out what was going on until Brian Jensen went flying by with a whole string of guys on his wheel. Then the race got really hard with tons of attacks until 5 guys got up the road. Funny, at least 4 of the guys are Cat 1's and former Pro's, go figure. In the end I was out of position and tired so I just rode it in for 15th.
Shadd rode the Pro 1-2 race so Cathrine and I worked the feed zone for Shadd and the Tradewind/Trek Stores crew. Feeding the guys was incredibly hard. The group was going really fast every lap and there were so many guys in the group it was hard to find your guy. Shadd's been at this a while and we had no problems and I was Catherine's back-up in case one of her guys got missed.
Overall it was a fun weekend, didn't get the results I was looking for but going to the Quad Cities weekend is like going home for me. Next up is Tulsa Tough this weekend.
Try feeding your rider in that group!
I know Paul Martin from my time in Cleveland and he made a huge effort at Snake alley only to have his chain pop off and had to run the hill with a few laps to go.