Sunday, April 19, 2009

Air Force Academy Road Race '09

Thankfully, the weather cooperated enough for the Air Force Academy Road Race today. It was a cold start at 7:50AM, but the roads were clear with only a few puddles to splash through. Lucky for the other riders, Dave, Austin, and were so hot in our new kits that it warmed up the rest of the group.

There was a neutral rollout for the beginning of the race since they've had problems in the past with people getting out safely. The race was neutralized all the way until you turn onto Stadium. It was really nice to not have to hammer it right from the gun.

For the first lap, I sat on the front. Not a great idea from an energy saving standpoint, but it was nice to keep a reasonable tempo up there and prevent people from getting too worked up about any early escape attempts.

On the second lap, I settled in near the back of our shrunken group. It was more sketchy back there, but it was also easier not being out front. On the long climb up Pine Dr, people made some surges. I was able to stay with the group, but I could tell I was getting tired and that new chamois under me wasnt going to sustain my hopes and dreams for much longer. Apparently some other people were getting tired too, because there was 1 crash and another near crash on this lap.

As expected, things really heated up on the last lap. On the downhill sections, people were throwing in attacks and I had to work hard to stay with them. It certainly softened me up. I had to laugh a bit when one person launched a counter attack only to be chased down by his teammate.

We turned on to Pine, and there was a calm before the storm. I knew the attacks were coming and I knew I didn't have the legs. I stayed with the first few, and then I finally popped and rode to the finish solo for 12th place. Dave finished in the 20's and Austin in the 30's.

The winner was from the Front Rangers team. Those kids are no doubt strong climbers, but they're also a little scary to ride around. The same person was involved in a crash (I think), nearly went down later by rubbing wheels, and knocked into my bars at 30+ MPH for no reason (plenty of room to come around me). I don't mean to call anyone out, but damn, take it easy out there. It's a cat 4 race for crying out loud.

The Air Force Academy does a great job of putting on this race. The course is great, they have a ton of helpers (almost an army of people, I guess), and this year they even set up an enclosed structure for registration. Nice work.

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