Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Salida Omnium '07

Oh so many things to say about Salida. It was a great weekend and
all the races were killer. The road race especially spanked
everyone. Here's the low down from the 4's pack:

TT: I chickened out and didn't do it, and it's a good thing cuz Lee
killed it and made all the 4's look like girly-men. Jay Rezac put in
a respectable time

RR: Oh My GOD! We had a neutral roll-out from town to the start
line and it was like herding lambs to the slaughter. The actual
course was a 12-mile loop (that we did like 4.5 times), part of which
ran on Highway 50 going up towards Monarch, then turning off into the
Weldon Creek gated community. This is where all the serious carnage
took place. Once in WC, a brutal climb starts. The first couple of
times it didn't seem so bad, but the last 3 times, it was all I could
do to stay on the bike. We pass through the finish line area and
there is a big sign reminding us of how many laps we have left. So
sadistic!!!! Then a great descent starts after that.
The first couple of times the 4's went through, it was raining and there were
streams running across the road. You could literally hit 50+MPH!
Lee noticed some hay bails that at first were standing up straight,
but after lap 3 they looked like they were put to the test. I'm glad I
didn't notice. I was already freaking on this descent, that's all I
needed was a reminder of the danger.
As the laps went, it was getting harder and harder to stay in the
race. After the second lap, I fell off the lead group and was
trying to find people to work with, but it wasn't happening. So it
was a time trial after that. I would work as hard as possible on the
descents to try to find stragglers. Then I'd be smoked for the climb,
but suffer through it. Then get to the finish line and do it again.
My last time doing the climb, I was a broken man. The pitch turned
up and I literally did a track stand, nearly falling before finding
the strength the turn the crank over and move forward. Crossing the
finish was a great achievement. I was so glad I wasn't a Cat 3 for
this race. There was no way I could have done another lap.
Results out of the 4's:
Jose: 12th
Jay: 15th
Lee: 26th

Crit: It was the Lee and Jay show. Lee started at the back with me,
had a cleat issue and then just bolted past me straight to the front
where he charged it for like 5 laps. He'd go off the front and thin
the group out, then come back to the front of the group for a break
and then drill it again. All this hard work paid off since he scored
a couple of primes. All this time, Jay is chillin' near the front,
playing it cool. And I'm at the back gasping for dear life, hoping
to move up, but really only having enough opportunity to stay with
the pack.
They call for the 3rd prime and Lee drives it to the back side of the
course where he slows up so someone else can go for the prime. This
was a nice break for me...all of like 3 seconds and then a new group
goes to the front and shreds my face off....But I'm still hanging
on!!!!!!! Ouch! It comes down to the 5 lap count and I swear they
added a lap. We went through with 2 laps to go twice which kind of
screwed up Lee's pace. When we finally went through with 1 lap to go,
all was calm til the back side of the course, where all hell breaks
loose and I'm just like near death. My hands and arms are numb, I'm
totally shelled. But Lee goes for it and is right up there. But in
the end:

Jay: 3rd!!!! Rock on dude!
Lee: 8th
Jose: alive! and finished

It was a great weekend of racing. It put everyone to the test but it
was a well-run race in a great little town. It should definitely be
a must for any road racer.

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