I get to race a nice bike at cool places thanks to these guys:

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Rock Tour Lititz

This past weekend I traveled up to the Lancaster, PA area for a two-day stage race called Rock Tour Lititz. The stage race comprises of 3 races held over 2 days: a road race on Saturday followed by a Sunday morning team time trial and a Sunday afternoon criterium. The road race was not the most fun I've had on a bicycle recently. I'm still favoring my right hand, which took the brunt of my little celebratory tumble at the All American race, and I had JUST put together a new bike the night before and hadn't gotten a chance to dial in the fit coordinates. Fortunately, I had a teammate/friend Jim Weinstein with us, who got me PROPERLY bandaged for my first ride since the crash. I can't recall much from the road race, because I spent a good chunk of it attempting to claw my way up from the back, which is difficult to do on a course with a yellow-line rule. Perhaps half-way through the race, a fairly large group of riders rolled away, and that was that. My teammates and I tried to stir up a chase group, but no one would bite. We did as best as we could in the field finish, and then hurried back to the hotel to get all relaxified for the next day.
The next morning, we hit the TTT, which is held on a course that has a flat, technical section, followed by a ramp up to a little berg. We went fast, but came up a little short on the results. Thinking the race over, we could have performed slightly better, but we had a handicap of only having 5 riders instead of a full crew of 6.
At the crit, we were greeted with a really well done-up downtown Lititz, with buzzing spectators, Joe Jefferson MCing the race, and even a National Anthem singer! I thought I had done enough sneaking to get myself a good spot at race staging, but as is often the case, small dudes kept sneaking underneath armpits and after a few minutes I had gone from 3rd row to the very back. This resulted in a rather chaotic and painful first 20 minutes of the race for me, as I pedaled like a maniac to overtake riders and escape the chopping block at the back of the pack. Once up front, I did help to make the race a little bit. My teammate Scott Giles got himself into the break of the day, and I [gladly] helped control the pace of the field. With about 6 laps to go, that break lapped us, and I dropped back into the field to go help Scott get back to the front of the pack. As I'm slipping back, I see Ryan Dewalt of XO Communications (a rider who was now a lap up) SPRINTING along the left side of the field, staring laserbeams through the pack. I look to my right and see SCOTT, ROCKETING along the right side, also gazing on his breakaway partner, matching pedal strokes. The two met at the front and battled for the next few laps until Dewalt won the field sprint outright. I never made it back up to help Scott, but it was exciting to watch a teammate make a display of strength like Scott did. Amazing! Just for kicks, here's a picture of me to prove that I was there:
Next up, Turkey Hill Country Classic! This will be my first time doing that event, I've heard loads of good reviews over the years! Can't wait! Bike Racing! Ice Cream! [I will have to update this whenever I can find some good pictures of Scott on the podium. He was a hero out there!)

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