Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Turtle Head Road Race

Sorry to keep all of you eager fans waiting for this entry. I think I already told all 3 of you the story anyway, but here goes. We went from riding around in the 50's with legwarmers and gloves to racing in the mid 90's this weekend. This is just MENTAL!!! We skipped right over the 60's, 70's, & 80's and went straight into mid summer heat......actually a lot hotter than mid summer. Throw in some pasty white skin and still no leaves anywhere in sight on the trees and you've got a pretty miserable situation.

For some stupid reason, I decided to race the Pro, 1,2 in NH on Saturday in the Turtle Head Road Race. It was a 70 mile hilly affair with a pretty stout field. I rode up with teammate/tough guy Jamie Tosca, and former teammate Tobi Marzot. I nicknamed Tobi, Tobi Juan Kenobe about 7 years ago when he was on his way to winning the inaugural Crank Brother's Grand Prix of Cyclocross as a junior. He's now racing for the PRO team, Mountain Khakis. I did a race day registration. $45.....sa-weet! (NOT) The race went at 1:30 or so and it was about 90 degrees. The first hill was neutral and we went up it at about 400 watts....nice. Tobi attacked the first millisecond of the racing, and it seemed silly, but he went so hard that he gapped half the field off. The whole 1st lap was lots of attacking. I followed a move on the back side of the course and we had a small gap with about 5 or 6 guys. I pulled over the top of a climb and we descended fast. The group got back on but we were flying. I had been going very hard for at least 5 minutes when Robbie King blew by. He looked like he was just gonna rip the race apart so I jumped and got on his wheel, then pulled through. I flicked the elbow, thinking someone must have followed, but no one came through. I looked back and the entire field was on and it was all strung out. I was into the effort pretty deep and realised I better sit up and get a wheel to sit on and catch my breath. I moved into about 3rd or 4th wheel and looked up to see a volunteer pointing us to a right turn. Suddenly I remembered something about a new climb being added to the race this year, and I thought uh-oh. We went around the corner and there it was....a nice little wall that wasn't so little. The field absolutely assaulted the road here and the race blew to Hell. I was already pretty taxed from my foolish efforts on the false flats and I was taking on water badly on the climb. I instinctively decided to sag climb, (I didn't have much choice) but a gap opened near the top and I was left following a rider trying to bridge. He dropped me.....so did the next one, and the next. Finally the road came back out onto the old course that I remembered and I saw another rider coming across. I had a big gap on the field and I was able to get on the CCB rider. We got to within 3 or 4 seconds of getting on and then we hit the start climb again. We got dropped and caught by the field. I had done 1 lap, I had ridden as hard as I possibly could for about 5 miles over 2 big climbs, I was crawling at 9 mph up this beast of a hill with the sun beating down on me and we had 100k to go.....good times! I don't regret trying that hard to get there because I knew the race was gonna take place from that group and the rest of the guys would be the "riding around bunch". Jamie pulled up to me and said "this isn't too bad huh?" We laughed our asses off. It got hotter and hotter all day and we never saw the front of the race again, although lots of guys came back. Every lap we lost a few more guys since the parking lot was right by the finish. At the end our group was 7 guys. We were the main field of the race with the big group having split into 3 small groups up ahead. Tobi out kicked Robbie for the win, and it was 93 degrees when we left. We figured the thermometer in the car was off from sitting in the sun, until we went by a bank with a digital thermometer/clock that also said 93. Crazy! I was fully opened up for my mountain bike race the next day.


mkr said...

You are a sick man!

Jonny Bold said...

I know. Great ride on Sunday Mikey! JB