Well a new blog post has been a long time coming with all of the new stuff going on since my last post in November. My son Raycer is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. I love him soooo much and cant seem to get enough of his smile. He seems quite enamored with me as well due to the fact that he follows me like my shadow and 90% of the words he says is "dada".
Raycer comes to as many races as he possibly can and loves watching cycling live as well as on tv. Which is about the only thing he is allowed to watch besides Jeopardy during which he screams gibberish answers to Alex Trebek. We watched all of the tour and he would beat his hands on the table and yell "dada" thinking i was in the race.(bless his heart) This weekend he was not to attend my race due to the fact that it was 1. A Road Race... and 2. There was a few scheduling conflicts so that meant nobody came to watch me...That being the case I went to the race with my local training buddy Arron Hampton. He picked me up promptly at 530 am which i was not happy about but nevertheless it had to be done.
We rolled out down to Kankakee to the TWO RIVERS IL ABR STATE CHAMPIONSHIP RR. As we pulled into the parking lot there seemed to be quite a large line already getting registered for the race. I was getting my wallet out and then realized that I had forgotten to take out cash for the race which I then had to borrow from my dad who was also racing in a different category. As I go up to get registered and judge the size of the large ever growing line I realize that we are no way going to start on time. So 1hr later that advertised we started the 72 mile race. We were led around by a lead vehicle for the first lap and were then on our own for the remainder. The first of the four 18 mile laps went without any real kind of excitement or attacks as we were getting to know the course. It was primarily flat with a few long rises and no real hills with some fun country road corners. Wind was definitely a factor due to the fact that it was very open and in the middle of nowhere. The race promoters had all of the non age graded fields combined so we had a field full of 1's 2's 3's and 4's which made the race into an interesting dynamic. I had no teammates in this race but I had friends in the other categories in Arron and Jason Seffner who happened to also be Arron's teammate. On the 2nd lap of the race Arron got off the front with a group of 5 and gained what was probably a max 1min 30sec which was not brought back until the last lap dwindled down to 3. As we were about to absorb them I yelled to Arron to jump in and get some rest. The main protagonist of the race was Paul Swinand who wanted to eliminate all of the 3's and 4's and go to the line with just the elites. Paul had to attack a total of 60x trying to not only drop the lower category riders but also to try and put me into difficulty to which he openly admitted during the race knowing that if we went to the together that his fate was sealed with defeat in the sprint. The days other main aggressor was Mark Moeller who won the 40+ USCF RR earlier in the year. They both knew that had to work to get rid of me which I took advantage of and let them work without doing much myself. It was Paul's last attack with about 5 miles to go that really put me into the danger zone. I was cramping the whole last lap but never let on to anyone except my friends who I told just in case. Paul attacked on a long crosswind section and Mark immediately got on and started to work. Knowing that I had to respond or else they would hold me off til the finish I set off in chase of them. By this time i was tired, my legs were very heavy feeling and my cramps were progressively worse. It took me far to long to get across but i finally made it bringing Jason along with me. As I got on we went into a turn into the headwind for a short stretch followed by some more crosswind all the way to the last corner which was a tailwind sprint. Before the last corner I told Jason to alert me if anyone was going to jump me before the last corner which worked out because it took away everyone element of surprise and led to nobody attacking. We hit the last corner with Jason in front Paul in 2nd, Me occupying the 3rd spot and Mark bringing up the rear. There were Railroad tracks 150 meters from the finish so i decided not to start the sprint until then i boxed in Paul slightly and took off with Mark in chase and Jason staying out of it because he had already won being the only Cat 3 in the group. I led the whole way to the line cramps surging in my quads and had to throw my bike at the line to pull off the win. It was a sweet and painful victory. My first and my teams first wins of the year. All in all a great day. Thank You Sammy for all of your support and confidence.