Road Racing with some Dirt!

The past 3 weeks I have spent on the road bike. Lots of travel, lots of competition, and some great courses have made for great racing.

Lago Vista: 2 days of racing on almost the same course. This course is tough! With 2 mile false flat head wind climb with small stair steps that will leave your legs worked after 16 laps of the 4-5 mile course. DAY 1: With lots of riders starting to find form, riders from out of state doing some winter racing/ training the field 100+ makes for a hard days work. The day went crazy from the gun, breaks going then coming back. Then again. Heath Blackgrove of Hotel San Jose hit it early with Steve Tilford, Stephan & Alex of TX Tough, and Sol Frost of AustinBikes. This Break stayed away all day with Sol getting picked up with a few laps to go. Heath took the win, Stephan, Tilford, then Welch. The field sprint was for 5th. I got 2nd to Josh Carter in the field sprint for 6th. DAY 2: This day was going to be a bit different with the full Kelly Benefits Pro Team showing up. 12 Strong Riders! From the gun attack after attack, I tried to go with almost everything. After 2 hrs of non-stop attacks I was starting to feel it! At this point there was a group of 6 up the road and the sprint was for 7th. I waited to the last lap and on Loren Dodsons wheel he moved me up to the front and I finished 4th in the field sprint for 10th. Kelly Benefits went 1st, 2nd, 4th, 7th, 11th or something close to that. Defintely a tough weekend.

Last weekend had more than just a paved road. The weekend started early Sat. morning with a 2 hr drive to the Tunis Roubaix. A 13 mile lap, 6 miles of gravel and 7 miles of pavement. Within the first 2 miles of the race everyone flated except 2 people. Seruiously it was burly! Huge gravel and no line through it. After 5 minutes or so and almost the entire field swaping wheels it was a race for 3rd, and all survial! I tip-toed through gravel for 65 mile with Nate Miller. He and I worked together on the pavement picking off riders 1 by 1. Then easy through the gravel. Then on the last lap as cramps were starting to show I attacked with 3 miles to go for 3rd and Nate finished 4th. Mitch Comardo rode away from the gun winning by 10min over 2nd. Only 10 or so riders finished this race! Then into the car for another 6 or so hrs to Rouge Roubaix where after only 3 hrs of sleep we saddled up for the 101 mile jouney over sweet rolling roads and some serious dirt roads! At mile 5 I attacked to open up my legs a bit, nothing serious and next thing you know I have 5 riders and a nice gap. Here we go! We hit the first section of dirt and its way looser than last year, almost sandy at times. Feels like lifting weights as I pedal! Then back to pavement and no sign of the peloton till mile 35 where it looks like 20 riders coming, half Metro-VW team. With only 25 riders, 11 VW riders this was going to be tough! The next dirt section would come at mile 60 and it comes with a wall of a climb, the field shatters! I am in the 2nd group of 6 and not sure how many are left behind. I chase hard with help from Matt Davis we catch the leading group of 5. Now just 11 riders and 25 miles to go. Metro-VW has 5 riders left and looks content to wait for the next section of dirt, as Matt Davis goes solo up the road with about a minute gap. Here it comes, the toughest section. Super steep rollers and fast loose decents. I get gapped on the first steep section and chase catching Travis Brandt. Matt still up the road, then Chistian Helmig and Andrew Dalheim just ahead. I push hard, just can’t close the gap. Then that it, Christian and Andrew pass Matt to go 1/2. Travis will not help because of the VW rider sitting behind us, so Matt does a strong tt effort for 3rd and I finished 4th. The other metro rider was 5th. Travis 6th and another VW rider in 7th. Great ride by them! Maybe next year!

Then this weekend was my first crit of the year. University Oaks Crit. After a hard ride Saturday, I figured my legs would be a bit tired. They were, but I had go snape still in them. With rain coming down and a bit a dirt on the course it didn’t look like to much fun. From the gun, the first turn took down 3 riders. lap after lap riders went down in that turn. It was like glass, super slick. I managed to stay upright and grab all 3 primes throughout the race. I felt good with two to go. Eric Benz throws in a flyer and has a gap. 1 to go I chase hard hit the first turn and hit the pavement hard! I’m thinking seriuosly? Make it all race and now I go down? Oh well. My bike is ok, I am sore and have a couple scabs to heal up.

Next week. Fayetteville Stage Race. RR, TT, RR Should be fun. Pics are from Lago day 2.

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