Following a disappointing day on Saturday, we awoke again early on Sunday to head to Ludwig's Corner, PA for round deux of the Verge MAC series. Thanks to Lunesta, I'm finally getting to sleep and not waking up feeling like I just pulled an all-nighter. Once again I packed up Special Sauce, coached Gina out the door and hit the road wondering if I left the stove burner on (which wouldn't be so bad but our dog sitter left the house last week and left a pot on the stove, yes it can get hot enough to melt copper but not stainless steel).
The day started out as another brisk fall day with the sun shining brightly, but soon after arriving to the race course the clouds rolled in and became almost an exact copy of last years weather, minus about 10mph of wind. Wissahickon did an awesome job on the course this year, changing it up just enough to make it a bit more technical and adding an additional dismount. Last year this course killed me with it's long power sections and constant jumps between turns all exposed to the wind. I wasn't sure how my legs were going to react after punishing them the day before. Amazingly they weren't tight or sore or even tired when I started my warm-up on the trainer. This was either really good or really, really bad.
Like Granogue, my points from last year got me a third row start in another deep Killer B field. I lined up behind Mike who's always a good wheel to have. The start at Wiss is another long paved uphill road with the exception that's it's anything but smooth. Gravel and potholes for all 300m. The start was sketchy with guys bouncing around trying to avoid the ground clutter. Hitting the grass I was sitting good around top 12. As we wound around the series of 180's and the new run-up I was feeling surprisingly good for the start. Even as we made our way through the 100m or so of sand I didn't even feel like I was working that hard. I remember looking back and seeing a huge gap to the rest of the field, my first good start.
Coming out of the sand I had fatmarc on my wheel and he was intent on getting around. I figured my best bet was to just try and hold on to as much ground as possible and pace my effort not knowing how my legs we really going to react and let someonelse close the gaps.
Following fatmarc as he closes the gap on Mike and Mayhew.
I remembered how much this little incline hurt last year and how JD passed me on it on his singlespeed.
Following Mike's wheel on the second lap.
I stayed with the lead group of about 15 for the first 2 laps but as the gaps started to open it was time to just settle into my own rhythm.
At one point I was about 30m off a group of 3 or 4 riders and I remember looking down the long stretch leading to the "Circle of Death" as I was exiting it and not seeing a single rider coming. Talk about no mans land.
Eventually Morgan closed the gap to me, I only knew it was him by the heavy breathing. I spent the last three laps jockeying back and forth with him and we never focused on closing the gap to the group infront of us.
He was strong on the long flat stretches but was having trouble in the twisty stuff so I tried to take the lead through all of those sections. He always seemed to lead going into the barriers and I realized I was faster getting up the run-up so I used that to my advantage on the last lap and managed to open up a small gap before hitting the pave.
The last run-up, getting to the top and opening the gap....
I'd like to say I'm not proud of beating a 15 year old, but the kid is strong, he's already beaten alot of fast people this season. My legs were aching, I put every ounce of energy into that race and was rewarded with a good finish, and series points!
Following the race we hit the secret recovery drink in the large aluminum containers at the top of the run-up.
Some more photos...
Mike, fast enough to not care about the finer points of shouldering the bike.
The Circle of Death, anyone know how to get out of this thing?
JH3 recovered from the day before and had a good ride.
Next on tap, Beacon Cross in Jersey on Sunday.