The month of May finally yielded a a nice sunny day and 10 hearty and anxious racers gathered at Spring Meadow for our weekly hellish ride around Birdseye. We rolled out of the park with the standard protocol, gossip and conversation along county club until we passed the first set of railroad tracks were we practiced a paceline until the second set of railroad tracks. As everyone knows, after the second tracks, the green flag is dropped, all hell beaks loose, it’s a free-for-all, the racing has begun!
After our paceline practice I found myself near the front of the peloton over the first hill after the tracks, the pace was slowing with folks trying to feel each other out and strategically place themselves. My pace kept me moving forward in the group until I was at the front, I wasn’t quite sure of my next move so I went for the default, I ATTACKED! I went off the front and most riders were able to respond but I was successful in creating some excitement. I kept the pace up knowing about the climb at Austin Road, settled back in to draft a bit and waited for things to develop on the long climb. Rick attacked at Austin Road, I followed and brought Mark with me, we left Rick hanging out front for awhile to tire him until he was close enough that I surged past him. Rick caught up to me, my plan was to surge again after he got comfortable but I looked back and he was already falling of the pace. Nobody could match my pace, even after posting a sub 5:00 mile on the track earlier in the day, and I cruised in uncontested for the first hotspot, followed by Mark and Randall. A nice 1-2-3 finish for Team Great Divide.
We headed off to the rollers with a great group that stayed together through most of the segment, taking turns setting the pace. Upon entering the flat, the group was still hanging together so I surged to try and fracture the group and eliminate some competition for the final sprint. We roared through the new pavement and crested the hill to find some loose cows in the road ditch. Cautiously, we raced past them, they started to run but we were past them before they even had a chance to figure out what was going on. Shane was drafting off of me, which made me mad so I attacked and there was that timed mile effort from earlier, I couldn’t make the pace and the sprint was on for the finish without me. Rick strategically timed his final sprint for the win, followed by Dave and Shane.
On to Silver Creek with a non-typical head wind. Rick went off the front for a bit but the wind was just brisk enough that nobody wanted to be the first rider taking the brunt. Everyone stayed together until Byron attacked, nobody went with him and Dave pulled the group, everyone knew this was going to be an uphill sprint to the finish. To try and confuse and disrupt strategy, I attacked and was bewildered that everyone was right there with me, after that strategy failed I tried blocking to keep Byron out front but it was evident the group was going to swallow him up. We quickly arrived at the base of the final climb and I knew I was screwed, in my big ring on my time trial bike with the whole group around me ready to sprint at any moment and I couldn’t safely reach up and shift into a lower gear. Shane was first to attack, followed by everyone else, I made my shift but could only be a spectator to watch the sprint for the finish, the order was Mark, with Kevin nipping Shane at the end.
That was a great time and nice efforts by everyone, it’s great to have more riders to practice race tactic’s. Next week is Cow Country, let’s get some more bodies out there.