Just a short recap from my first and only Superweek Race for 2005... Well, MY version of short, anyways.
Having spent the better part of the last two weeks in Colorado's Summit Country, I was holding out hope that simply sleeping at 10,000 feet was going to turn me into Tom Danielson. While I was able to rent a K2 road bike for a week (which weighed about as much as the mountain the bike was named after), I wasn't able to get in the miles and intensity that I wanted... partly because I was there to work... and partly because my heart rate was hovering somehwere around "thermonuclear meltdown" each time the road pointed upwards.
So upon returning to Lincolnland, I mooched a ride to Brewer Country with Joel and Eric D, who had been mixing it up for the last week and a half with all the Superweek Superheros.
Around the posted start time, the organizers began setting up the course, so there was plenty of time to warm up, fuel up and get worked up before the race. Okay... about the start: Eric 'Tenacious' D and Joel All Natural were right on my wheel on the start line, so I wanted to make sure I got away quick, lest we get jammed in the pack. So... so I led up the hill. I didn't mean to gap the field, honest. But when I did, well, I didn't want to sit up and wait on the first half lap, so I figured I'd just ride at a strong pace and at the very least be able to scout the course without anyone around me, while maybe freaking out someone who didn't know better. Despite accusations, I was NOT on a photo-op lap. Okay... maybe a little.
Long course made short... we tried to mark the top guys. I spent a lot of time on the series leader's wheel. With about a quarter of the race left, I took my one shot at a breakaway along with a guy who had podiumed in few Superweek starts. We hit it hard, but were brought back within two miles. That was really it for me. I moved up to the fifth wheel on the final lap, but was gassed on the 2-mile, 30-to-35 mph tailwind run-in to the finish. The sprinters gave me a wedgie, stole my milk money, ate my fruit roll up and then hung me by my underwear from the coat hooks. To top it off.... Joel nipped me with a bike throw at the line. (Video review would later show that I was actually reading a John Grisham novel and munching on Cheetos approaching the finish, having ended my race about 400-meters ago. I kid.)
A couple of high/lowlights:
- On the second lap, the officials played a really, really funny joke on the field when they changed which lane of the highway we turned on to near the back of the course. If you want amusement, try sending a dozen guys blasting out of a corner at 25 mph and into a line of police tape. High comedy. The field sat up to wait while they untangled themselves from the fray.
- Tenacious Davis buried himself with a red hot 2-mile-long pull mid-way through the race. The guy behind him issued his compliments, while I tried to take his temperature to see if he was delirious. Holy hero pull! That gave me a free pass to get out of line, with Eric D having done enough work to pay all of our dues, and then some
- Ugly moment of the day came on the downhill prior to the finishing straightaway, when a young stud from Wisconsin was suddenly erased from the middle of the pack. One second he was next to me. The next... he had locked bars and gone down on his keester, sliding backwards at 35 mph... facing the entire field that was about to ride right up his midsection. He was sighted later at the maintenance tent, so he must have found a hole to crawl through.
I'll let Darkhorse Daly post his Cat III memories, but I want to pass on a cool image. The pro/1/2 field started a half lap before the IIIs, so eventually they chased down the Cat III field. There was one excellent moment, though, when Erik Saunders was gunning for Andy's wheel over the top of the course. I wish I'd captured it.... just a taste of the future, Mr. Saunders. Howabout a little of THIS!