Monday, April 16, 2012


Last weekend part of the Mercy Cycling crew headed off to Illinois for the Hillsboro-Roubaix road race. Adam and I decided to head out late Friday morning in hopes of going for a ride when we arrived at our host house. An early start was out of the question because I decided to take JoBro to the doctor just to make sure nothing would go wrong while I was out of town. Mission accomplished and we were off. After a easy drive we arrived just as the rain started, bummer, no ride today. So it continued to rain all night and was still raining when we woke up. After a leisurely breakfast we decide to head out to the race. After about an hour drive we arrived at the race site to guessed it, more rain. Whatever, 50 degrees, rain, and a 100 rider field, bring it! With no warm up of any kind we rolled to the line to start the race. Off we went into the rain and it was actually not too bad. In a wise move we decided to wear the old red kit instead to the new white kit, saved some clothes since we were riding on narrow country roads that were full of dirt and mud from the farm fields.

Photo: Elizabeth Rangel, (Thanks!)

The race itself didn't go as we had hoped for the team. While we were all riding pretty well and in good position the wet roads would take their toll. Austin was our strongest rider so we were all looking to help him. Unfortunately, Austin flatted just before there was a huge crash in the field. Nick and I were ahead of Austin when he flatted but Adam was there to wait and pace him back up to the field. Here's where the unfortunate part comes in. The wheel truck is right behind the field but it's now the 2nd of 3 laps and all but 2 of the wheels in the truck are flat. By time the guy finds a working wheel the 30 sec wheel change has now taken 3 minutes. Game over for Austin and Adam.

Nick and I continued to ride near the front of the field to keep out of trouble. Nearing the end of the race I was actually feeling pretty good but was just happy to finish the race. I never thought about going for a good finish and didn't look behind me. If I had I would of seen that the field had gotten much smaller on the last lap. Rolling up to the last climb into town I knew that you have to be near the front to get a good finish. Well.......I was nowhere near the front as the climb began and ended up picking my way through riders all the way up the climb. In the end I ended up 26th. Better than last year but still leaves me wondering if I could of finished better.

Oh well, since the race in St.Louis got cancelled we loaded up the van and headed for home. Kind of nice to race and then have a family day on Sunday. Lot's of long weekends coming up and races to do.

No comments: