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Roubaix’ssssss

Last weekend was epic. I’m not just talking about the races either. The weekend started of with a early morning drive to College Station for the Tunis Roubaix. 6- 11 mile laps with a 4 mile gravel section each lap. I have ridden many dirt roads, so I was not to worried after preparing w/ 25c tires that were the thickest you could find and latex tubes. Confidant my CR1 would rip through the rough roads with no problem. The race started like a mountain bike race, fast & furious as the road turned gravel 400 meters from the start. Barry & Jeff suffered flats in the first lap. Carlos was off the front most of the day forcing everyone else to chase. Except lap three where somehow the team missed Stefan and Willis go off the front forcing me and Dan to chase maxed out for 5 miles. Going into the last lap Carlos was again off the front, Dan and I were covering anything that moved, and Tristan waited patiently for the long uphill sprint finish. Stefan drove the pace with no help for the last 4 miles catching Carlos with 1k to go. Then Dan launched a huge attack. Perfect! Then lone star chases, it all comes back together w/ 500 meters to go. 200 meters Willis goes and I am on his wheel and Tristan on my wheel. I jump then Tristan. Tristan wins, I got 2nd, Carlos was 5th, and Dan was 7th. A great ride for the team in a very tough race.

Now the first race was over, I new that we had a 5-6 hr drive to Baton Rouge, LA. This is where the trip gets tough. The battery died and wasn’t keeping charge to well. So we stop in Houston for dinner and to change out the battery. It take about 2 hrs longer than planed to get all the accomplished. Then hours later about 2 am till we get to bed. After 3 hrs of sleep it’s tough to get going, but we do. Not realizing how far it was to the actual race we were running late. As we are running to Registration 16 minutes before the start my legs felt heavy and my head felt like a brick was sitting on it! Off we go as we made the start of the Rouge Roubaix a 106 mile road/ gravel road race. It was seriously 30 degrees at the start as Carlos, Barry, Tristan, and myself took off. Freezing, shaking, and just damn cold I went off the front once the race opened up with 2 guys for 15 miles. Now warmed up, we got caught on the first of 3 gravel sections. As we approached mile 60 and the 2nd gravel section. A 1 mile dirt climb with a Benjamin prime at the top. You actually had to grab it from the guys hand while sprinting up hill in loose gravel. It was awesome. I was second wheel then third wheel as it got steep. Christian Helmig had a 10 meter gap as we got close to the top, then it was Tristan then me. I could see the gut on the right side of the road. I yelled at Tristan to go, he couldn’t I gave it all I had to just get passed Christian to snatch the Bill from the guys hand. The effort broke the field to pieces. But, after the raod section there were 45 or so left of the 100+ starters. The last section was around mile 75 and it was serious. Steep climbs, loose gravel and braking bumps that will make any handlebar come loose. I was a little to far back as we started up the first gravel climb. So steep and loose people were off walking. As I weaved through everyone slowly bridging to the lead group of 11. The race was shattered! Tristan, Carlos, and myself made the break total 3 of 12 w/ 1 guy off the front.
Barry just missed the group, getting caught up in the walkers. The guy off the front somehow stayed away clear to the finish. Carlos won the field sprint for 2nd, I got 6th and Tristan 10th. I was in the hurt locker for the last 10 miles of the race, but this race was one of the coolest most beautiful races I’ve done. Definitely look forward to next year.

After a quick meal on the run, we were back on the road. Thinking we might get home at a decent hour I was wrong. Not sure weather it was something that hit it, or the pressure from the rack on top flexed the door. The driver side window exploded! Glass all over the place, luckily no one got hurt. After a quick stop to clean out glass, then a 15 miles or so to be one with nature, we stop at Wal-mart for some card board and Duck Tape. We managed to make the strongest window ever made. Now a total of 2 or so hrs. behind, Tristan had to play the roll of rear view mirror for Barry as he couldn’t see out the window. We stopped in Houston for some super tasty food at the Bayou City Grill. Then back on the road. Now, I got to play the stressful roll of rear view mirror. We finished to weekend at 1 am. Ouch!

Tyler and Andrew are heeling slowly, but hopefully will be back soon. Everyone else is starting to come to form. I am headed to Waco for the Bicycles Outback Blowout mountain bike race, the rest of the Team headed to Fayetteville for stage race. Good luck to them and safe travel to all. Till next week, Bryan

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