Friday, March 7, 2008

Merced Weekend

This past weekend was the first race with the team and it was a good weekend for us. Ben Jacques-Maynes was third in the criterium and 2nd in the road race. For me it was the first race where I had a role to play outside of follow the wheels and finish as high as possible and ended up placing top 30 both days. My father also came out to California with me since he hadn't seen me race in over 10 years so it was special. The criterium started well until 10 laps in I had a minor mechanical problem that ended up causing me to be left out of the front for a crucial 4-5 laps and therefore missing the move.
Fortunately for us we were well represented with Ben and Richard England both making the move and Ben being one of three riders to lap the field going into the last 3 laps. Unfortuntely none of us were wearing radios and therefore weren't communicating with Ben and that may very well have cost him the win. In the end I rolled accross the line in 28th place. Sunday's Road Race was better although again I got caught with my pants down, literaly. The first lap we threw it in the gutter to see if we could break the race up but unfortunately there wasn't enough cross wind to do any real damage. The road race was 200 Km so it would be a long day and for the next 100Km we followed the moves and innitiated a good amount of them ourselves. I found myself in a few promising moves that never seemed to stick.

During lap 3 I was peeing in the back of the peloton and as I'm looking up I see a group of 20 riders or so riding off the front. It seemed to me that they just rolled but apparently there were a few groups that got together to form it. We were well represented with 3 riders, Ben, Aaron Olson and Morgan Schmidt so for the rest of the race we sat in near the front and once the break was established we just rolled around. Coming into the sprint I mixed it up a little bit to help Garrett Peltonen but as he said it got a little too hairy for no places so he backed off. I like a little jousting now and then so I took my position in my leadout train (thank you rock racing again) and this time did manage to come around them. Field sprint for 24th. I'll take that. Its not what I wanted but we got second and the field sprint was a nice consulation prize for me. The good news is that the legs are feeling good, recovery is good and the season is under way.