Wednesday, April 20, 2011

simply hard

the 2011 Leland Kermesse was this past weekend. conditions were not good for this race. its flat, wide open, with 3 sections of gravel. it rained over night and during the race. oh yeah, it was windy too. just what the Organizers wanted.

pay attention, the winning strategy for this race is very simple; hit it hard, ride to podium.

simple, yet, oh so hard to execute. that is the beauty of this race.

i rode near the front as we approached the first section of gravel. i was informed of the men to watch, so i was, and when they ramped it up i did too. i hit that first section 3rd or 4th wheel. the two guys up front really were laying it down. i knew it was the winning move and i was close to grabbing on.

a couple turns later i got into a soft spot on the inside that almost took me down. i was almost at a stop. the group of 3 rode away and one rider passed me. i looked back to see the field imploded and i got moving forward again. i picked up the WDT rider who just passed me, he was hurting. i told him we had to go, we had to catch that move, that's the winning move. i rode on without him.

what a massive struggle that chase was. i kept them in sight with maybe a 20 second gap. after the 2nd section of gravel the WDT rider was back. recovered, he told me to ease up a bit as i could not close the gap alone. he was right and we worked well together. he would yell at me when i pulled too long. we closed the gap a bit, but never enough to make that final push.

my legs were good, but the rest of me wasn't. i was sick and up all night Friday due to it. head hurt, stomach hurt, breathing hampered, ect.... disappointing for sure, but that's life.

middle of lap two and we were still 4th and 5th on the road, but no longer closing the gap. WDT was now yelling at me to take my damn turn. i could barely stay with him now. lap 2, the second section of gravel, i let his wheel go. he rode solo the rest of the way to finish 4th. solid guy and great finish.

at the start of lap 3 i wanted to stop, to cry, the punch someone in the face, to do anything, but race this race. i sat up and a group of 4 picked me up. familiar faces including a teammate doing his first race ever. we rode together, racing for 5th place, the rest of way. near the end a few fell off and one move was made that i covered. it got two of us clear to race for 5th alone. we made the LEFT turn to the finish line & i made an attempt to ride him off my wheel. didn't work and he got me in the alleged sprint for 5th.

lap 1 = punish the first section of gravel to create gap. punish sections 2 & 3 of gravel to maintain gap. ride to podium with whoever is left.

oh Leland Kermesse i love you so.

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