Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Turkey Hill Country Classic
I finally made it out to Turkey Hill! Ever since I've heard of this race, each passing edition sees me respectfully abstain from participating. It is usually one part lack of road-race fitness, one part lack of climbing prowess. With the Nature Valley Grand Prix on the horizon, however, there was no question about my willingness to show my face at the event this go around. AND ICE CREAM. I had no personal goals for the race, aside from wrenching my legs for a few hours and seeing what happened. I got into some early junk-moves, did a few short minutes-worth of work towards the middle of the race, and then attempted to survive the attrition (which I did!) The race course is fantastic - nice roads with some fun corners, a rolling enclosure for most of the course (except for two clearly marked short stretches of road) and a rather packed start/finish area! It is wild to feel like there are spectators at a road race, but with Turkey Hill promoting the event complete with large inflatable cow and moon bounce, I'd hope that some people came out to see what the commotion was! When I wasn't feeling like daggers were sticking into my quads, I had a lot of fun in the race. Everything went great, except for the last km. A rider who is well known for his devastating kilometer ability decided to launch himself out of a cannon at the 1 km mark. The rest of the field was just a little bit too fast to be caught off guard by this, and caught his wheel, single file. After about 10 seconds of hammering, the rider in the lead looked back, saw the shattered peleton take the form of a snake behind him. Not enjoying this sight, the lead rider whipped to the side of the road, took a quick pause, then whipped across the road two more times pretty violently. As you might expect, the following riders were drafting each other single-file, and the rapid whipping motion caused a pretty nasty crash about 10 riders back. I was at the tail end of the guys who fell down. I personally did not fall (and I think I managed to support another guy who was in the act of falling into me), but all I could do was shake my head at what had just happened. Sadly, the field wasn't even sprinting for the win, as two riders were up the road. Big props to Rick Norton who flew the coupe and held everyone off. 'Slick Rick' is a rider that I don't think ANYONE minds getting beat by; his rides are always ballsy and dramatic! Oh, and I should mention that I was so tired/fired up about that calamity at the km attack that I FORGOT to get any ice cream.