monday morning i flew back from redlands back to a sunny boulder which was a nice welcome. redlands was good....kind of...its always to pop a result but that didnt happen this trip, but overall i was pleased with how it went. i got through it and didnt feel like i was in over my head which was a big change from the only other nrc stage race ive done at cascade last summer. the prologue was ok, i felt very good, but the resutl was nothing notable, i think i definitely should've brought my tt bike, instead of just riding the road bike with training wheels...but i guess i just wasnt sure where the form was going to be and didnt want to pay for two bikes. the next day was the first road stage...a 106mi circuit type race with 6 hard climbs. i felt awesome all day and was thrilled with how it was going, cresting the koms top 30 and feeling like i was barely pedaling, then with 20 miles left, the 2nd to last time up the kom i just completely shut down, i just went from feeling great to having nothing...got dropped from a groupetto with a bunch of fat sprinters...that was the lowpoint of the day, i finished alone and lsot 16 minutes on the day, deifnitely not thrilled with that...but i guess i took what i could from it, first road race of the year, tough being an nrc, i just didnt eat enough which totally screwed me...don't want to sound like a jerk but at home i can get away with these mistakes when its just a 3hr race, but when its a 4.5 hr nrc race one slip up and next thing you know you lose sixteen minutes, i'd rather learn that lesson in march and not at nationals.
this photo is from the first kom on the day, its hard to see but maybe if you click it, the photo will enlarge, im in the center of the frame, white helmet, wearing blue and white bikereg.com clothes.
the next afternoon was the crit, it was a lot of fun...it was a mile with 9 corners but they all had good flow to them and it was just really fun. my legs felt good and it didnt seem that hard...i got one flat but free lapped back in, there were a lot crashes a lot of them seemed due to tire blowouts, i was surfing the top 15 for a few laps and when the gas came off i almost jumped but i guess i was just nervous, not feeling quite confident enough to attack in these nrc's yet...maybe soon. the last 10 laps were pretty tough, the results in cycling news are messed up, i finished in the bunch...but it wsa good.
the last day was the infamous sunset loop. that hardest part of the day i think was the two crit laps we did downtown to start the race, i was hoping they would be parade laps but it was just as hard as the last two laps from the night before. after the crit laps we rolled up a 4mile climb out of town, then got onto the sunset loop. you do 12 laps of the sunset loop then come back to town for 5 laps of a finishing circuit. historically a very small group completes all the loops without getting a pro rated time and is allowed onto the finishing circuits. fly v had it pinned going up to the loop, luckily with about a mile to go a hole opened up and i made a late surge, entering the loop top 15 which was my best move of the day. the first part of the loop is some crazy descending on dark narrow roads, then you start a very tough kom that lasts for only ~5 minutes, but it false flats after the kom line for seemingly ever. the first time up the kom lap was insane, i had to stand for nearly 2k just to stay in the wheels but crested top 20, almost half the field got shelled just the first time up the kom. after that, i got a little too content and didn't fight for the wheels enough, i felt good all day but it just wears on you, on the 9th lap i got popped from the lead group, rolling in for 85th on the day...they give you a pro-rated time. it may not sound like much but for this time of the year i was definitely happy with it, and i hope getting through this when i got to gila in may i can pull out a real result.
for now im back in boulder for the last month of the semester, ill being doing some collegiate racing in between now and gila, and hopefully training hard, looking forward to see what the rest of the season will bring...it's weird to just be starting the season and already have such a hard race in the legs...hopefully it is only beneficial.