After missing out on two races last weekend, I decided to partake in a road race yesterday down near Grants Pass, OR. Made the 3 hour trip down with Cloninger and Rogers. A good mixture of some rolling hills and one final steep hull top finish made for some exciting racing.
Being fellow mountain bikers, Cloninger and myself decided not to sit in during the race, but rather stir things up a bit with some attacks. I attacked first with one other rider on the first lap; lasting only 3-4 miles. Then it was Dave's turn towards the end of the first lap, but again not lasting very long. The the move of the day happened on the 2nd lap, with Cloninger and one other rider attacking and getting a descent gap. I decided to put in several surges on the 2nd climb that allowed me to break away from the peloton and bridge up to the two riders. From here we slowly opened up a 3-3.5 minute gap. On the start of the last lap, Dave and I dropped the other rider (Owens Team) on the gradual 3 mile climb. At the top of the climb, I started to feel signs of bonking coming on. After a fast 2 mile descent we had about 4 miles to go to the finish. I was beginning to hurt, while Dave was still looking good. With 2 miles to go Dave opened up a gap on me and I couldn't hold on. I was beginning to struggle just to turn the pedals. Now seeing the 1K marker, I just had to make it up the final hill top finish. I looked back and still didn't see any riders catching us. Each pedal stroke felt like I was pedaling in quicksand. When I hit the 200 meter-to-go sign Dave was already celebrating his victory, while I still didn't see anyone behind me. As I inched my way up the climb, I was passed by Rogers and Seaton with 20ft to the finish. It was your classic Tour de France race where the lone breakaway rider gets passed just before the finish. I had literally hit the wall and could barley turn over a 39/23 gear.
Very pleased with a strong workout and happy for Cloninger taking the victory and scoring a new set of Rolf Wheels.
Rogers, Sheasby, Cloninger and myself. Top 3 Men and Terri Sheasby won the Women Pro/1/2 field.
Up next is the Sunday Hitch's Century ride. With temps supposed to reach in the 70's, should make for a fun day on the bike. Ride On!