I raced the opening criterium in the rain...30 laps of a short 1-km course of hairpin turns and short, steep climbs for sprinters (I'm #701 wearing my Baddlands Bicycle Club Jersey that Mitch let me borrow). My weaknesses...bicycle handling and sprinting hurt me here. Two riders
|crashed in front of me and I lost so much time I was pulled
from the race after only 15 minutes because I'd lost so much time. I was devastated and sat silently in the
car with Miimii...comeback year? It's hard to come back to where you've never been. Later that day I rode a very short six-mile
time trial along the Snake River. The wind was gusting to 30 miles an hour, but I managed 26th place of 63 riders, and must
one of the only riders not to use triathalon handlebars. |
Funny thing is I'd owned a pair of aero-handlebars since 1988, before they were ever popular. I always liked trying new things. But I'd never felt comfortable using them, so I left them off in most races which cost me about a 3-5% speed deficit.
|The next morning was the final 57-mile road race with four climbs. Ten miles into the race, feeling very tired, I broke away with four other
riders. What did I have to lose? I was second from last place! We stayed away for a mile and were caught. Okay...bad
move I suppose. Ten miles later we hit our first climb, and while
riders were falling off the back trying to keep up, I managed to hang with the leaders, but by the second climb they'd dropped me. When I did my first TRCC in 1992 I was dropped on the first climb and never caught back up to the lead group. I
was improving. In the 1994 race, the stragglers and I regrouped on the downhill and hammered all-out to catch the lead group, who were minutes ahead. |
I stayed in a paceline doing about 50 km an hour for ten miles to run down
the leaders. It was the fastest paceline I'd ever been in...we were flying! They went so
fast, I came off the back in the last mile to loosen up my stiff, tired legs. They caught the leaders and amazingly, I too caught them about a minute later. I'd never re-caught the pack in a non-military race after being dropped. This was amazing! Though tired, I was recovering very well.