Sunday morning, up at 6am and at the Waffle House by 6:45am, today is a 65 mile road race. There is something magical about being in the south and at the Waffle House at such an early hour. Our waitress Katie’s 25 years of Waffle House service and her missing front teeth are quite the comfort for my northern sensibilities especially on race days. We smack down some waffles and head back to the hotel to see if we can find out anything about the damage in
Today is the Roubaix, a 65 mile race on a 13 mile course over two section of pave’ (actually its two section of packed Georgia clay and sand). A break of 4 gets away right after the first lap. Ricky is in it again and this could be the move that sticks. As the field approaches the first of the two climbs on the lap there are a few stragglers between the break and the field. Already its do or die. I follow the guy who one the TT at the base of the first climb, he eases off and now I’m on the front. I drill it up the hill, nailing the big ring and closing the gap. Down the other side in the 12 and back up the second climb still drilling it and catching the stragglers. About 6 of us are within 5-6 seconds of the break. I blow and 4 more make it across. I tried. As the field catches me I am still gassed and struggling to keep contact at the back, but by the time we get to the pave I am back on and recovering. The next few laps individuals try a variety of attacks, but they all come back and the 8 man break stays away. We started the day with about 50-55 riders but with the 8 in the break there is only 30 left in the race. As the field moves toward the line on the final lap I position myself in about 6th for the sprint. The first jump is made and I immediately follow. “I’ve got him”, I think to myself, but he starts hooking me all over the road. If it was a bigger race I would have had him DQ’ed, but this one no big deal. He ends up holding me off because of my having to stop/start pedaling to keep from crashing because of his erratic riding. I finish second in the field for 10th. Not bad. First weekend is in the books and a couple of top 10’s.
So that’s the story. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did getting to tell it. Now I have to get back to work cleaning up my neighborhood. Take care and don’t let a little cold weather get in the way of making this a big year for