Saturday, February 16, 2008

Deja Vu Valley of the Sun First Race

Is it suppose to rain in Arizona? What happened to the draught. The day before I left my buddy Effraim told me to bring a rain jacket. Huh? A rain jacket to Arizona? So I packed my rain jacket and sure enough it was raining in Arizona. Here's the thing about drivers in Arizona. They don't do so good, I mean so well, driving in the rain. It's kind of like Floridians driving in the snow. They just weren't born with that instict in them, unless of course they are New York transplanters which in Florida I am sure its a real shocker.

So the flight was delayed (yeah I know, imagine that) and I got in at 1 in the morning just completely hammered, and it wasn't from the free drinks in first class (did I mention I got upgraded). The next morning I went to the TT and got a nice warm up in next to my buddy Eric who is now riding for Empire (formerly the evil squad). The TT went well. I promised myself that I'd keep it at 350 Watts for the first 5Km and not let the excitement get to me. And of course I go out and I'm doing 400 Watts and it feels easy. Here's the thing about the start of a TT, it always feel easy in the beginning. I mean every single TT, I go out and I'm looking at the powermeter and going wow this isn't so bad, I am flying here. And then after about 7 or 8 minutes 390, 380, 270, 320 kapumb. So I dropped it to 350 and then tried to slowly ratch it up except that I never quite got it ratched up. But still managed to do 350 average (quick what's the square root of 350 divided by 420 to the 3rd degree?). Sorry. Long story short I ended up 13th, 46 seconds off the winner and 3:30 minutes or so faster than my time last year. I was happy with that.

Today was the road race. Last year I got popped one and a half lap into the race including the first time up the climb so this year I was hoping to do a little better. Want some light bathroom reading check out that post for an understanding what the painfest was like last year. So anyways the race starts and there was a time bonus after two laps so I was trying to get into some moves to see if I could score 15 seconds that would put me in the top 10. Oh yeah there's a bulls eye on my back now. Here's the good thing about riding for a team like Bissell. You want to get in to a wheel you just have to ask and the guy usually let's you in. The bad thing, it's hard to just slip up the road. Oh well. So I managed to hang in the pack most of the day while staying attent up front and going in any moves with dangerous guys including those little buggers who were a few seconds behind me. Yeah you, I got your number down here, get back in line. There was a move of 14 guys that got away but since there were no Jittery Joe's guys in it I didn't worry about it. Last lap they came back due to some good Jittery Joes and Empire riding including some impressive pulling by Eric and with half a lap to go Eric and Curtin Gunn from Successfull Living slip off the front to be brought back at the base of the climb to the finish. The climb was a big gear climb but it was a grinder that went up about 2 miles to the finish. Rock Racing and Jittery Joe's were putting the hammer down and it was nicely stretched out. I took a seat behind a Health Net guy and just bid my time. A few guys slipped away with two K to go and about 500 meters later I bolted out with Caleb Fairly from Slipstream on my wheel and we bridged up to the five leaders. I started my sprint but didn't have enough in the old tanker. Captain to the engine Room? Engine Room: There's nothing left captain she's going as hard as she can. And with 100 meters to go I got passed by 4 guys and finished 5th. Hey I'm happy, not complaining but I really wanted that first Bissell win of the year since I know the boys will do well in the Prologue of the Tour of California tomorrow. So that is it for today.

Oh and apparently there is more than my mother reading this blog. I had two people come up to me today and tell me they read the blog when they were trying to find out information on the race. Apparently if you google Valley of the Sun the blog somehow makes it in there. I think there might be something to this whole internet thing. I might even sing up for one of those e-mail accounts.

Sorry that I have no pictures but in case you guys haven't noticed I don't exactly photograph that well on a bike. I really am a lot skinier than that and I don't usually look like a hockey player on a bike do I?