What an eventful last couple days! We’ve got a victory and a few bike issues to work out. So there are a few things before today’s crit.
Stage 1. The 7km time trial up a 6% grade went fairly smooth, aside from Travis flatting his 23mm race tire with 10 min to race and when swapping my 25mm found out it was rubbing on metal number-plate holder. Some adrenalin rush with last minute fixing and he was off to one of his best efforts to date! Must be learning from the best! ( -me, if anyone seen me get ready for the races, haha)
Best time for the team was of course from the one and only, time trialing machine, Ryan Roth, in 9th place. Drop the gradient by 6.1% and I’m sure he’d be winning this!
Stage 2. I’ve heard all kind of things about this course, riddled with crashes every year, guys airlifted to the hospitals and etc. Well? It didn’t disappoint, I could see how that happens every year. Five minutes into the race and all I was concerned about is making in one piece to the finish line. Well, I made it to the line in one piece alright….
Moments later came by Luis Amaran (Jamis/Sutter Home) and Sergei Tsvetkov (Jelly Belly) barging by. Barely catching their wheel to hold on, we bridged to the break right before the KOM hill… 10-20 min of total agony surviving the bridge, the hill, the surges and attacks, the break finally decided to settle-in and propel in a friendly manner. The rest was history, and to my surprise we still had 2:20 gap on the field with 1 lap to go. There were some attacks on last lap and I was feeling the onset of cramps already. Honestly my goal was to hang on to the break through attacks and the final climb at this point, never did I think that 200m to go that I’d be flying past the whole bunch as if they were standing.
In disbelieve I tossed one hand in the air, and in thoughts of lifting the other I quickly came to realization that there is absolutely no where to go – there are photographers all across the road jumping in all directions and doing the ‘football style’ fake-moves. From 66 to 0 km/h in 4 seconds – I found myself on the ground laying under the truck after colliding with a camera man, bouncing off the car, and simultaneously run over by a rider behind me. I got away with just bruises, minor cuts and road rush. The guy behind me had a solid gash on the forehead, probably needing stitches. As I was laying on the ground first thing I noticed was half of the carbon fork… it said Specialized.
You’d think organizers and photographers would learn after putting on a race for so many years that racers can’t stop in 20 meters after a full-out Sprint?
Hard to be mad however after my biggest win to date. Bloody, on the ground, I was still all smiles!