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Fayetteville Cat 3 race. Felt great. Got to the start line. It was only 30 something of us in the cat 3s race. In the P12, however, pretty much every pro showed up to race. You had ... moreSheehan, K House, Uhl, Strickland and others. Anyways our race started easy. Sort of. Ok. 5 minutes in, on the first hill, when everybody is still warming up. I’m sitting at the back of the race chilling. 1 guy attacks, ok, then 2 more, then 2 more join. I’m sitting and thinking to myself. This is bad. But I’m still cold, back of the pack, 30 places down, and spangle the dude that got 2nd last time is sitting right next to me. Can’t be that bad? And… we let them go. It’s first lap, I slowly start rolling to the front and start taking easy pulls among other guys. We are not going chase pace but still at a good clip.

I’m thinking, all of the Shama team is here and their main guy is with me, surely, they’ll do a lot of the work soon. I see one of the Shama guys goes off the front and Don chasing him. They get 10-15 seconds and eventually get brought back. Don saying the Shama guy didn’t really do his pulls. I start working a little more but Shama is always breaking the rhythm. I ask what’s going on? And I get the answer: “We have a guy in the break”. Wow. It dawns on me. Their whole team has just been blocking the whole entire time. This is pretty bad. Very bad. First time for me in a swamp like that.

I’m feeling pretty desperate, I’m thinking, if we keep rolling like this then we are off the podium and will never catch the break, which is probably executing a perfect paceline and are all smiles and happiness. Damn! There’s no point saving myself just for 5th of 6th place. I tell Don, don’t work I’ll try to bring the break. Don got over 300 FTP and the best power to weight out of our team for the hill sprint. If he doesn’t work at least we might get that uphill sprint at the end. I get to the front and give a good dig at it for 5 min, stretch the whole field. We get some small train going and then Shama breaks it again.

I try to organize something again but can’t get anything going. At this point I know who the strong guys are. There are only couple of them that are in the front. I feel like by now, I know their FTP and their mother’s maiden name.

Plan B, I go to the first one of those dudes, and like a shy high school girl trying to get a date to the prom ask: “Do you want to on a break with me?” Reply: “Full discourse, I got a dude in the break”. Damn! Nobody wants to dance! I find one guy in the black shirt (the climber) and he’s willing. Good. I start the attack and we stretch the whole field. I try another time with another guy. And another time. Every time, Shama is bringing us in. After a while I stopped caring about bringing something with me and just start attacking of the front, willy-nilly. No go. They mark me and bring me in. It’s as if they figured out my plan after my 10 tries.

Plan C, I got to be really sneaky. I’m thinking I’ll wait for Shama to get on the front in the head wind and then attack from 7 places down. Get a good run at it. OK… Stretch of headwind. They go to the front into the headwind. They have to spend some energy otherwise you’ll just stop and roll backwards. I dig deep… all out sprint into the headwind from 7 places down. Great! It worked! I got a gap. It’s growing. I got maybe 15 seconds… I look back and they are chasing… uphill coming up… I’m trying to keep my power consistent… They are closing in… I crest the hill and they are 30 feet behind. I swerve to the right as if I’m giving up. I look back and nobody wants to close the last 20-30 feet. I’m thinking, they did a lot of work up that hill. I go at it again, this time no response. I see the gap growing and eventually I lost sight of them.

I spend maybe good 15-20 minutes at the front by myself and I’m thinking: what the hell am I doing? There’s a whole team in back and a whole break away in the front and I’m just here dangling in the middle. No way I’m going to time trial to the break by myself. They have over 2 minutes on me by now.

I look back Spangle and the Climber are bridging to me. Great! Ohh the pack is not that far behind. We start working but still not hard enough. We get swamped by the pack.

All of a sudden I see a new Shama guy. He got dropped from the break. Ha! Shama put the wrong guy in the break. They should have put Spangle in there. All of a sudden 5 guys are very motivated to chase. And we start working! Finally! I’m cooked but still… I start working with them and tell Don to stay back. Save yourself. We work for the whole last lap and close down over a minute.

Couple Ks to the finish and the gap is 2 min. I realize we are not going to bring the break in. They have 4 guys vs our 5 that are working. Not going to happen. So, I start slowly ramping down my pulls. At this point I think it’s only 6 or 7 of us in the chase group.

1 K to go slightly uphill, one of the Shama guys is leading out the train and guttering everyone hoping to keep the pace high to drop dead weight and sprinters. I’m sitting on his wheel. 500 meters to go uphill starts… 200 meters to go…. The climber starts an attack I get on his wheel. I look back and we got a small gap. I’m sitting in a nice draft. I light up my last big fat match get in the drops and do my thing. I cross the finish line with 2-3 seconds gap. The climber & Don got 2nd and 3rd respectively of out the chase.

Got 5th overall and managed to get my entry fee back plus a nice meal. Lesson learned. Don’t let a break of 5 go from the gun and don’t get into a swamp where everybody has a teammate up the road.
Report Date:
Monday, 20 Feb, 2017
My bromance with coca-cola is over. Let me start from the beginning. After Chris Carmichael talk event, Freedom, Trace & I barreled into my house (10pm) for some chit chat & ... moremuscle milk smoothies. 12am, had to drive to Walmart with Dina to get present for her birthday party. 2am, I can finally get ready for tomorrows race. 2:30am, time to glue that tubular on that fixed wheel. 6 hours of cure time will do. This is probably my 25th tubular job and I got pretty good at it. So far haven’t rolled one yet and not about to roll one tomorrow. Ok after laundry, 4am, I’m finally in bed. 6am woke up, put everything in the car, and waiting on the couch for Don. 6:15am, I’ve passed out cold on my couch while waiting for Don. 7:35 am, Expletive! Don apparently been knocking on my door while I was passed out. Luckily, he had his car and just drove to the race without me. I look at google maps. It says arrival time 9:30am. Race starts at 9:35am. I throw all my clothes on the front seat and off I go. Cruise control to 9 mph over speed limit. Dress while driving and trying not to kill anyone. Putting on socks sucked.

Ok. I got to Sealy at 9:20am. Enough time to put cola-cola in 2 bottles, chip and number pinned. I apologized to Don profusely. Hopefully he forgives me.

Race started. First couple miles neutral as usual. Once we crossed the finish/start line, race started. Mother of all side winds is upon us. 20mph side wind. Everybody is in the gutter trying to stay on 2-inch shoulder, sucking wheel and trying not to crash. Not what I had in mind for a warm up. People start to drop and gaps begin to open. I think before we made the turn half of the field was already dropped. 3 guys go off the front and I tell Don don’t worry about it. We’ll catch them in 30 min and it will be 10 guys at the finish at this pace. One of those was true.

Around 3rd lap they are still out of sight. I start to get nervous and try to organize a more cohesive chase. Not going to happen, all we were doing is attacking each other and then slowing down. Zero organization. I guess I did my share of hard pulls and chases at the front. Because! If you are not going to pull, then suffer.

4th lap, every few minutes, like clockwork, the wind is doing its thing, one more tribute is dropped. By now it’s 85F and my coca-cola is getting pretty empty. 10 miles out and I ran out of my dope juice, I’m all covered in salt and feel like an idiot for not taking more liquid or anything else besides coca cola.

We are still chasing the 3 guys in the front but at this point they are 20 seconds in front and they are cracked. By now, every time you do a pull, just flicking your elbow is not enough you have to take you whole arm out and wave at people to do their pulls.

5K to go, the breakaway is caught, I turn around and I only see 10 guys including the break. And my quads beginning to crap. Uh-oh. I try to raise my cadence. Maybe it will help. I’m for sure a dehydrated idiot.

One final effort, I see the 200m line. I think, I’m 4-5th wheel. I’m thinking, if I sprint now, I’m just going to embarrass myself and cramp in the middle of the sprint and crash. So, I’ll just suck wheel all the way to the finish. Texas jersey guy (Charles Krouse) starts the sprint at 200 meter line. Animal chase dog instinct kicks in. He’s already 20 feet ahead. I’m in the drops. Out of the saddle. I’m gaining, alright, alright… passed 2 guys… alright I’m almost on his wheel… couple more feet… I get his wheel on the finish line. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa….. my right quad is completely locked…….. I got 2nd….. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa I swerve to the right trying to not crash on my face. Lesson learned, no more coca cola when it’s hot. Back to Gatorade and pickle juice. And, 2 bottles is not enough. No pictures. Broken SD card. :/

Thanks to Charles for the pic.
Report Date:
Saturday, 11 Feb, 2017
Got Lucky again! Hard race. First 3 laps were inconsequential, except that one dude from San Antonio went ahead and stayed there. He was always barely visible. A min or two ahead.... more

Attacks started flying even before the last lap. Last lap was red hot. After several attacks, Zach, Jordan Parker & I managed to get away. We went pretty hard. The field did not want to let us go. We spent maybe 15-20 min at the front always being chased by the field 10-20 seconds back. Zach was super strong. We got caught.

On the way back into town attacks started again I was always around top 10. At one point, we went into a lull up the hill. A bit of rest from the attacks. I continued the momentum forward - slow pedaling it. I look back and Zach, the monster, is on my wheel and the pack is 20 feet behind. Ohh shit?! I yelled: “Let’s go”. And the hammering started and never stopped. It was 2 of us chasing the sole dude in the front. Zach probably did a good 65% of the work. We closed 1 or 2 minutes. Carrying my fat 194 pounds up those hills is not fun. I was at the limit. We were closing the sole dude ahead and closing fast. We managed to get to him on the 200-meter line. I knew that if I managed to get to the 200-meter line I could squeeze extra juice from my fast twitch. After all, fast twitch, doesn’t need oxygen. Good, because my lungs were shot. Sprint! Yes.

About 5 miles to the finish when I was in the break on the last lap I hit something that looked like a 2x4 or a tree branch. Hit it head on. I managed to stay upright. The pack in the back had worse luck. Sucks!
Report Date:
Saturday, 21 Jan, 2017
Report Date:
Saturday, 14 Jan, 2017
Report Date:
Sunday, 11 Sep, 2016