Posted by: gofastturnleft | March 11, 2012

Hammer at the Slammer #2

Well that was less than fun.

First race of the season:  9:00 start time, 52 miles, 30 MPH winds, rolling terrain, uphill finish.  There were three races that started right around 9:00 –

Cat 5
Cat 4
Cat P/1/2/3

Yes, you read that right.  That’s how we roll in Idaho.  The 4s and 5s get their own race but if you’re a Cat 3, the race promoters around here feel that means you’re basically on par with and should race against the local pros.  By the way, that includes current Olympic Time Trial champ Kristin Armstrong.  You can probably imagine how well it went.

The race went off  and apparently there was a pact amongst the pros and top Cat 1s (who, and I really can’t stress this enough, were racing in the same race as me, a Cat 3) that road races suck and team time trials are much cooler.  So up went the pace and out came the echelons.  The pack lasted something like three miles before shattering all over the road.  I was close enough to the back that I was gapped immediately.  The group I was with worked about as well as Andy Schleck’s front derailleur in the 2010 Tour de France (Hiyo!)  The BYRDS rider I was behind decided that riding in a paceline meant drift back, sprint up, repeat.  He pulled this move rounding a corner into the brutal headwind, leaving a 4 second gap I could never quite close.  After 2 out of 4 laps I called it quits, at which point Kelsey told me there were tons of riders behind me; I was sure there were 5 at most.  In any case, I didn’t really feel like riding another 26 miles solo in those conditions so packed it in.  Only later did I remember my mantra – DFL is better than DNF.

Next weekend at the Speedway Omnium and Hammer #3 I’ll only drop out if I crash (while racing against pros).  Deal?  Deal!

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