Monday, June 6, 2016

Masters National Road Race 60-64

By Bob Montague 

Arrived in Winston. Picked the bikes up at Ken's Bike Shop.

Everything made it, but one ding on the TT bike. Julie and I are staying at Downton Abby, I mean Graylyn Hotel and Conference Center. 55 acres of beautifully maintained grounds and a transformed former mansion.

Our first 2 1/2 days we filled with registration, checking out Winston, pre riding the road course and eating! We also hiked Pilot Mtn.

I lost a lot of weight in getting ready for this event, and my fitness has improved. That said, neither is where it should be for an event of this stature. My recovery from last year's crashes has, in reality, taken much longer than I anticipated. But, North Carolina is my home state. My father was born and raised in Winston. I am 60 this year. I had been targeting this year's nationals for probably 5 years. I didn't want to miss this.

Road race day was not too hot, but spring time in North Carolina is far warmer and more humid than Northern California. We were scheduled to go 55 miles over 3 18.3 mile laps on a rolling course. Attacks began, pretty much immediately, and continued throughout this race. The course pretty much alternated between rolling up and rolling down. Every time it rolled up there was a surge. Almost immediately, northern California rider, Rob Anderson, got a gap on the field. Though the pace of the pack continued to surge, it was inconsistent and he was able to extend his advantage. By the end of our first lap, he was mostly out of sight. The pack continued the chase at a harder pace. About halfway into the second lap, Anderson was brought back by the pack. Attacks continued, but no other breaks would be established. For my part, I began to have cramps in the second lap. Still, I managed to stay with the group into the third lap. The attacks continued and my legs had a definite jello feel to them. I finished the last of my water and energy gel and found myself gapped off the back from having done so. I had to chase hard for about 5 minutes to get back on, and from there, I couldn't recover. One of the harder sections actually ran through the feed zone, and our last time through it, I got dropped. I didn't have anything left to chase back on. I kept going as hard as I was able for the 5 - 6 miles that remained, and I ended up pulling 3 others to the finish. All 3 were able to sprint around me to the line. I finished 46th out of, I think, 54. Given my fitness going in, I wasn't unhappy at all with my result.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome to see you making the attempt and not giving up... true grit!


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