You know how sometimes things just can't get any worst. Well they can. I was getting my ass handed to me all over the east coast and now I have opened franchises and have expanded to the west coast. Technically in my last 8 starts I have had 0 finishes. After joyous Philly week I tought I'd go to a local training race called Floyd Bennet. It was a race where last year I actually got dropped in and I wanted to see how my fitness was compared to last year so I rode out to Floyd Bennet feeling pretty good and pretty confident that I would be just fine. The race is 12 laps long and I did my first little move after 5 laps to see who was there and who wasn't but mostly to see how my legs were. All systems go. Felt good, broke it up a little bit and then it came back together. Next laps we go again. This course is dead flat but its on a former airport so it has a lot of wind. It's just attack, attack, attack and see who survives by the end. I get a little move going that gets caught and then a counter goes, next lap with 4 to go now I try to bridge accross with a small group and I am just killing it with the pulls. Really feeling good and pittying the guys who were with me and who were literaly pulling through and pulling off. Yes I am thinking today is going to be a good day. We are getting closer and closer and all of a sudden. Kaabbooommm. Wow what was that. Yeah I kind of ran out of juice and I see two United guys (Burrow Brothers not Toyota United) jump accross and make it. I'm thinking jesus where did those guys come from. Now the group that was 5 seconds up the road is getting further and further away. I take another pull and finally get so frustrated that I just pulled off. Next lap around half the guys had caught the front group. How do you like them apples. I got my stuff and took the hell out of there. Man that was embarrassing.
I was on the team to do Nevada City before Tour de Nez but John Eustice asked me to stay in New York and do the Harlem Criterium, which of course I was thrilled to do since its in NYC and its been a whopping 4 days since I've gotten my ass handed to me in NYC. Bonus that my whole family gets to come out and see me and it's fathers day so I can do whatever the hell I want to. Harlem this year had the support of Rock Racing so it should be a good show. And John being one of the best promoters in the country no doubt that it would be a classy race. I had a lot of motivation coming into this race and I intended to at least go down swinging. I took the first twenty minutes of the race easy to see who was there and what was going on. The race was pretty fast and it seemed like it was going to come down to a sprint so I attacked. I got into a little move that showed some promise but the two Rock Racing guys didn't really want to pull since they had Freddy Rodriguez and Rashad Bahatti with them so we only managed a few laps out front. As were getting caught there was a cab in the middle of the road and I had to chuckle because there is always something interesting happening at this race. The streaker a few years ago was the best and the kids throwing the waters baloons at the field last year was a close second. There were plenty of crashes to keep the racing interesting and since I was on a brand new bike (first ride) I was trying to avoid them as much as I could but man there are a lot of bone heads doing these races. I mean guys taking serious risks for absolutely nothing. We come down to the last 5 laps and I'm feeling good but since I have nationals in two weeks I'm not going to get into the middle of the fighting going on for the Rock Racing train. I decide to stay a few feet to the outside in the wind but in the top 20 and then see what happens in the sprint. We come to the last lap and its a little bunched and very dangerous, I take the last corner and bamm a crash right in front of me. I managed to avoid it by the skin of my teeth, I see a clear line down the left hand side of the road and take it punching it to the line. Mind you that I am not in contention here but merely sprinting for around 10th or so. I'm thinking man that was close and are my glad I didn't go down...then I see Pollo from Mengoni skidding into my lane on his back with two other guys right on him. I have nowhere to go since I am all the way to the left about 50 meters frmo the line and boom go full speed into his bike and I don't remember anything else expect thinking I cannot believe this just happened. I won't even talk about my beloved bike. She bled. Although I went down hard I wasn't very harmed and only had a few minor scratches. So technically I didn't finish that one.
Tour de Nez was the perfect leadup to Nationals. A few short crits, two tough road races and a time trial. Good field but not stellar and we were there to win so it should allow me to do some serious riding at the front. Ah it's at altitude. OK I can deal with that. First crit was 1:15 minutes in a casino parking lot. A little sketchy and dangerous and I was still a little gun shy from my crash but the altitude was just killing me. I tought I was going to get dropped from the start and I managed to survive the crit barely. With 10 minutes to go I get popped. Luckily the team was flying and after a very agressive stage Sven Howard takes the sprint by 3 bike lengths. 21 and his first NRC win. Life is good. So I kind of finished but not really so another one.
Hey I am at the airport so I am going to make this quick. Second stage is a TT, I soft pedal to the finish since there is no time limit so technically I finished it. In the afternoon there is another short crit and this time I get popped a whopping 8 minutes in. My legs felt fine but I just can't breath. Not good. Not good.
The good news is that the team was good and we won the overall with Aaron Olso. Burke Swindlehurst rode incredibly to also finish in the top 10 and Tom Zirbel along with Graham Howard just killed it riding support. Sven won a stage and poor Morgan was sick the whole time but still managed an incredible top 10 in the TT. Omer was there and had a crash in the first day after pulling way too hard in the crit.
Gotta go heading to Portugal for Nationals. I'm sure it will be better. Will put up pictures soon they are calling us and my wife is antsy.