Monday, August 14, 2006

Tour de Pain

I'm cooked, physically, not mentally though as I still have the desire to race this late in the season. But I added this weekend's Tour de Christiana stage race to my schedule to make up for not going to Fitchburg. As far as stage races go it's not too bad, unless you're just not feeling it, then it's a pain-fest. This was my third year going to this race and my first to finish all three stages. The promoter must have gotten tired of poor turnout for the TT b/c this year you had to finish each stage to do the next unlike previous years.

I thought my fitness going into this race was going to be good, I had high expectations, then we hit the hill on the first lap of the road race. I knew then it was all over. There's no worse feeling as a cyclist than that moment when you need to lay down the watts and the engine room just doesn't respond, especially in a race. I was smart and had stayed towards the front so I never lost too much ground the first couple of laps. But then we caught the women's race and the field splintered a bit and I just could respond to the accelerations on the last few meters of the climb. This horrible feeling followed me into the next day for the TT and then the crit. I think my TT was slower than last year, by alot.

Take note of the kid on the right in the red. He's 16 and kicks serious ass. He's won 19 races this season and won both the road race and the crit this weekend. He soloed the crit for the last 4 laps. One guy managed to bridg up to him but he dropped him on the uphill finish.

Something about an 8:06 start time for a TT coupled with feeling like pooh, I wasn't very motivated. Did the fact that forgot my TT clip on bars say anything to looking forward to this? Atleast I don't show up all decked out on an expensive TT bike with the aero helmet.

The crit is fast, technical and hard. Relentless really, no rest. You're either hammering uphill or hammering downhill or out of the turns.
Gina snapped some good photos of us coming out of the tunnel under the railroad tracks.

Suffering to get back in after a wheel change. Nothing like starting from a dead stop at the bottom of a hill to catch onto a 23mph race.

Next stop, Williamsport, MD for the MABRA age graded Criterium championships.

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