Thursday, August 19, 2010

Matt races Greg in the Amish Country?

Here's what Matt had to say about his Kirkwood Road Race:

"I did the a road race up in Kirkwood, PA today. It was a 7 mile circuit through Amish country with some short-but-punchy hills thrown in. I think Tim Day(???) was there as a new rider for Kindhuman too, but I didn't see him.

Anyway... I hitched a ride up there with Greg, so we had some time to come up with a good race plan. Even though he's riding for AFC now, we figured we'd try to do something together today. We pre-rode the course, and picked a poorly paved, stair-stepper of a hill as our attack spot for the last lap. I thought it might be a bit far from the finish (4 miles?) to make it stick, but it was definitely the best option to put the hurt on the field.

Greg and I were lined up towards the back at the start, but figured things would take a while to develop, so didn't think it would be a big deal. The race started, and within the 2nd mile, there was a crash 2 wheels in front of me. Greg had already moved up, so wasn't involved. I didn't go down, but had to slow to get around. There was apparently an attack at the front of the field right at the same time as the crash, so no one was waiting around to regroup and I had to hammer to close the gap. Caught back up, cruised with the group for another mile or so, and we hit the stair-stepper hill for the first time. Someone up front attacked, and I saw Greg grab his wheel. The people who were getting away looked like they could make something stick, so I figured we had to change our plan to make the move on the 1st lap. I was a little out of position, but leap-frogged my way up to Greg's group. I think I pulled 1 or 2 guys with me, and we had a breakaway of 10-12 riders. We had a 30+ second gap by the end of the 1st lap, so I figured this one was going to stick. It did, but we lost a couple of the weaker guys as the race progressed.

By the start of the last lap, we were down to 7 or 8. Since there were only a handful of riders to break, Greg and I employed our original plan when we hit our chosen climb for the last time. We both gunned it from the bottom, and I think we caught everyone by surprise. No one could follow. Unfortunately, Greg's calves started spasming towards the top. I eased up for a second, hoping Greg could grab my wheel and recover for a couple of minutes, but could see the group rallying behind. I decided to just go solo. With about 4 miles to the finish, I knew the next 10 minutes were going to hurt.

It was a long steady downhill section for the next mile or so, but I couldn't afford to do any recovery. Just kept hammering. As I rolled through the 2nd to last turn (still 3 miles out), I could see Greg and one other dude probably 10 seconds back. Just kept hammering. Greg and that other dude bridged the gap by the time we hit the turn onto the last leg (2 miles out). I was kind of happy that I might be able to get a draft for a little bit, but they burned too much energy bridging to be of any real assistance and the other 4 guys were no more than 10 seconds behind us at this point. Just kept hammering. The last leg of the circuit had 2 short and steep climbs. Greg and I put as much power as we could into the first one, leaving just the 2 of us out front with a little over a mile to go. I finally got a little help from Greg. Just a few seconds on his wheel helped me find some more energy. We clambered up the last climb, but I wasn't seeing straight enough at this point to be able to judge how big of a gap we had. Just kept hammering. Neither of us really remember what happened in the last mile. We were completely cooked, but could finally see the finish. By the time we got there, I had nothing left for a sprint. Greg came around me with 100m to go, but I was borderline blacking out, had vomit in my mouth, and could do nothing to respond. We finished 1st and 2nd with a 17 second gap.

Even though I didn't quite win, I was perfectly happy with my race. The pre-race plan was executed just about perfectly, and I was really happy to be able to make a mostly solo move like that and hold off a hungry chase group.

Really, I just let Greg win because he was my ride home. I'm just that kind of guy." haha Gotta love it.

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