Thursday, August 9, 2012

Racing and relaxing

Mathgeek reminded me that I have not posted anything in about a month so I figured I should do a update. For a while there wasn't much to post about, no racing and work will tend to do that. On top of that the drought continues with high temps and no rain made training tough and exhausting. So last weekend, after a while away from racing I hopped in the Mercy van and headed for the Tour of Elk Grove in Chicago. I was a little nervous going in because the lack of racing but it was a Cat 1-2 race=Good, 70K(or 38 laps)of a mile or so course=OUCH. That's 1hr 35min of racing and that's a long race for me. The course itself has a hairpin turn that brings you nearly to a stop, then you have to accelerate up to speed lap after lap. That hurts after a while.

We had 6 riders from Mercy and one guest rider from Texas with us so we had a strong team but there were many strong teams there as well. Saturday came with high temps and once we got going the race became something of a crash fest. As a team we were avoiding the chaos until the final lap. We had 4 guys in the top 20 coming out of the last turn when there was a huge crash. I don't know what happened but Colton and our guest rider went down in the pile. Shadd barely escaped the crash and the rest of us had to aim for a slot between the riders to get through.The end result was that Zach was 5th and Shadd was 14th. Colton and Michael(our guest rider) came out of the crash in decent shape but the major damage was to Michael's bike. The top tube of his custom Alchemy carbon frame was crushed. I'm pretty sure that as I was searching for a way around the crash I saw his bike get launched about 6 ft up in the air!

Day 2 came around and the temps were cooler but the wind was a little stronger. We raced the same exact course so we knew what we were up against. History showed that on the 2nd day people are tired and a breakaway usually goes to the line. As a team we were looking to be aggressive and make the break and when it happened. Colton made the move and the rest of us tried to keep the break away. The break was made up of 11 strong riders and in the end Colton ended up 8th and Shadd 14th. That was a great result for Colton and it would of been much better if he had not just  returned from 2 weeks in europe on his honeymoon. Props have to go out to Shimano Neutral Support for loaning Michael a bike to race on Sunday

As a team we rode great. Everybody rode strong and did their share of work to make it a successful weekend of racing. One of the best parts of being on the Mercy team is how everyone works hard for the team to succeed and nobody is out for individual glory. Of course there is all the stuff outside the race that makes it fun as well!

Zach winning the Salida Classic Criterium

Austin and Adam at the Springfield Criterium, Adam was 3rd and Austin 6th

This is Chicago, at night, from the top of a water tower, that is on top of a 4 story building. Not my picture and that's all I'm going to say.

Besides my steady stream of Olympic tv watching I'm also way into the Tour of Utah. Former Mercy rider and friend Joe Schmalz was selected to ride with Bissell Pro Cycling in Utah and the Tour of Colorado. Pretty exciting stuff!

Time to get going, stuff to do. I'll post on the Sporting KC game we went to last night. Every bit as exciting as the USA women's game a few days ago.

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